Obviously, my highfalutin plans to blog more often have only haphazardly come into being. (sigh) Old habits die hard, and shorter posts still look weird to me, but I am trying!
As for me, I am such a flake, I routinely can't find files I have just downloaded. Where the hell do they GO? How does that HAPPEN? At such times, I am acutely aware that I most assuredly did not grow up with computers, and was 40 before I owned one myself. (You can bet the 20-year-olds know how to find their downloads!)
(((insert deep old-lady sigh here)))
And while I look for my files, I present you with some excellent Saturday springtime reading:
Redneck Mother is raising chickens! They are SO CUTE! All power to free-range chickens and their tasty eggs (sorry bout that, vegan readers)... Another small step away from factory farming, and Redneck Mother has my deepest respect for going this route.
Wear Clean Draws discusses bell hooks' The Politics of Accountability, and quotes her at length:
And I would add, this is one reason why belief in god(s) has such a hold on people. To some, it is a synonym for a higher justice, a higher truth, a higher law--above and beyond unjust earthly authorities that dominate us on a daily basis.
When you feel like somebody else is to blame, what do you become? Like if I’m hurt. Like when things go wrong in my life sometimes, I notice lately, I’m always looking for who I can blame. You know like who can I blame. It’s a way for me to move away from my own sense of agency. When looking around for somebody else to put all the responsibility on, then I can be the victim. So what I’m saying is: the more black people were told to see everything as being about white people and the man and what the man is doing to you, the more many of us began to lose our own agency. And think about that versus a culture where my grandfather who was a share cropper, and definitely the white man was on his back, but what I remember about that, when this man would walk through his fields and see his vegetables that he grew, he’d say, “See these vegetables. White men cannot make the sun shine. They cannot control..”
I mean here’s a black man who did not go to school, who did not have an education. But he found a sense of self that transcended the idea of him as a victim. Because he could say “yes white men have power over my life. They exploit and terrorize me, but at the end of the day, there’s a power higher than white men that I can lend my imagination to.”
When the atheists sneer at that, it can be experienced by non-privileged believers as endorsing the material world as it is (with oppressive powers intact) and negating the self-preservationist experiences of the oppressed. In practice, this type of atheism is simply Social Darwinism by another name.
It's no accident the "leading atheists" these days are hyper-educated, elitist snobs like Richard Dawkins and (ex-Trotskyist) Christopher Hitchens, while folksy, down-home rationalist-atheism (Mark Twain, Will Rogers) is mostly in the past.
Fascinating discussion about torture at My Private Casbah, highly recommended! Bint writes:
As for those who have loved ones fighting in these wars, if you don't want them to die over there, then it is illogical for you to defend torture, because as long as we are engaging in torture, there will be people who are willing to attack and kill us in return for what we've done. American torture can only lead to tortured Americans.
Your flaky New Age reading for today is The Ancient Future of Servant-Leadership over at Reality Sandwich:
It's long, but well worth taking in!
One of the first exercises you do as Buddhist practitioner is to perform generosity. This can manifest in different ways, but when you give something to somebody you begin erasing the boundary between you and the “other.” I recall once gifting an extra guitar that I didn’t need to a stranger, and how I felt a little tear in my eye as the exchange created a true heart connection. The disconnection we normally experience with other people and nature is at the root of all our major problems -- environmental, financial, political, etc. If the universe wants you to serve life, than life will respond in kind once you surrender to it. Thus, the core ethic of any servant-leader is the same as a healer: we are to serve life above all other. Naturally, then, servant-leaders ultimately also support the cause of sustainability, which is the opposite of the culture of death that manifests as our current economic system.
And finally, my favorite kitty-blog (with whom I share a name!) has a SPY! (Warning, you could die from the cute!)
I once had a cat named Zeppo, a Marxist cat (haha) whom I just adored, and who looked a great deal like Harley the spy (see link). Since cats have nine lives, of course, it is entirely possible Harley IS Zeppo... right?
Well, I like to think so. :)