vendredi, janvier 01, 2010

Bowing down before idols

I don't care if New York Times columnist David Brooks is a liberal in conservative's bobo garb, a true but undoctrinaire conservative or just a guy who has fun irritating liberals and conservatives.

I like the man.

His column in today's paper, The God that Fails has been rattling around my brain all day.

Once we had an adult's expectation of what government could do for Americans. But recently, uh, we've regressed:

"Now we seem to expect perfection from government and then throw temper tantrums when it is not achieved. We seem to be in the position of young adolescents — who believe mommy and daddy can take care of everything, and then grow angry and cynical when it becomes clear they can't."

I find this to be very true of both small government conservatives and big government liberals.

Let me keep my tax money -- but give me total national security, demand some on the right. Oh, and a total ban on abortion while we're at it. And don't draft me.

After that guy tried to blow up the plane, I wanted to nab some government flac and ask him or her: Is this why we have the Department of Homeland (In) Security?

Meanwhile, some liberals want the bureaucrats to be in the rescue business...even when some institutions and even some individuals need to take responsibility for their own fate. What's a few billions in pork if a few good people get aid. Don't draft me, neither.

Perhaps most nations are run by the entitled. But if there is indeed a nanny state, we may be getting not solely the nation we asked for, but the bureaucracy we deserve.

jeudi, décembre 31, 2009

Bidding 2009 a graceful adieu

A first in 2009 and one I hope to not experience in 2010 ...being threatened with a lawsuit by someone's angry wife.

And NO, it's not what you think, people.

Anyway, here are some wishes for all of us:

That we'd stop hurting innocent kids because, both locally and globally, adults cant navigate our difference...

That we'd be more respectful of those differences.

Care more about this beautiful pendant globe

Help our neighbors be their better selves, and let them reach us.

Be a little wilder (you know who you are).

Be a little tamer (and you know who you are, too).

Live with a disciplined passion.

Dear peeps and tweeps, new adapters, slow adapters, and noncomformists, may this year ahead be filled with graces.

mercredi, décembre 30, 2009

Once a dog...

I interviewed the former Presiding Bishop, Frank Griswold, recently for an Episcopal magazine.
He recalled the weekend when he learned he was elected bishop of Chicago.
In one of those strange coinkidinks, it happend that he was in an amateur production of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown." Griswold was Snoopy.

In one of the numbers, he sat on his doghouse, and reflected on the fact that whatever happened, he was a dog...and would always be a dog.

Very true for all of us in one way or another. I'm a dork.

And I will always be a dork.

At least technologically speaking.

Monday my p.c. died when I touched it. The Staples guy said it was because the motherboard couldn't speak to the hard drive, but I don't believe that, do you?

I'm the black widow of computers. This morning, a whole interview (on a challenging subject) disappeared. Only a few lines witnessed to its existence. It was virtually absent.

And this as I've finally set up new phones that mean I can actually hear the people I'm interviewing.

My kids are so much sharper at the new technology than I am. But they are also less patient.

What would it be like if we teamed up?

I may have to wait ten years to find out.....

dimanche, décembre 27, 2009

Is this thin ice?

I wonder what it would feel like to float gently in the superficial? Christmas parties, a round of stories and sermons to write, the endless round of clean up after boxes and food tend to induce some shallowness.

Would I skip the war articles and rush to the fashion pages of the New York Times? Would I read the Times at all?

Perhaps the folks who do that aren't shallow so much as pragmatic.

Or maybe I'm just a bit frazzled. As an introvert, I'm like a child when they are overstimulated. I want to cry, or nap. A broken computer (my normal one isn't working) seems like a big obstacle to reasonable thought.

Are you going to the UL New Years open house, asked someone today. We stood in the midst of upper middle class chatter by a table crammed with good food. We see him and his wife, my old friend, every year at the Philadelphia club. I'm not sure, I told him. It was a tradition, but the ex doesn't want to go anymore. The DQ and I might go, I said.

This week off of school is getting very busy, and I'm not sure how I feel about not having time to be pensive -- so I think I'll wait and think about it.

One think centers me in Christmastide -- lying on the sofa, watching the lights glow and blink as the vented air caresses them.

What about you? Do you ever want to think less and do more? Or is thinking a sort of doing?

Blessed are those who have discovered balance.