Wednesday, March 31, 2010

be afraid, be very afraid.

Now, look. I'm not paranoid, nor prone to conspiracy theories, nor into theological anthropologies of human depravity.

But I'm freaked out at the moment, and here's why.

Card-carrying crazy-talking pacifist feminist Obama-supporting political liberal that I am, and you know it's all true, I have received a Facebook invite to this group: Now The End Begins. Now, I chuckled at the Tea Party Express III invite, which I still haven't RSVP'd to because it makes me oddly happy to see it on my Facebook page. But "Now the End Begins" is something else--it's exactly what you might think: there, you'll learn everything you need to know about "Understanding Today's Political Events Through Bible Prophecy," and then, you can move on to the "Conspiracy Theory: 101" where you learn that the Health Care Bill was really about Obama establishing a private army so he can put us all into FEMA-run Death Camps.

And yesterday at 5:01 p.m., Now the End Begins posted this message on their Facebook fan page: "This militia group was right about one thing - the upcoming battle with the Antichrist. And ask yourself this - today this group was raided, how long before owning a Bible becomes a crime? How long before Obama makes naming the name of Jesus a crime? How long before our Muslim President makes being a Christian a crime?"

Okay, so I get it--there are crazies out there. But I thought they were far away, way more than six degrees away, way way far away in rural MI with their bitterness and guns and Bibles.

But apparently I am only one degree away from this insanity.

So I'm freaked out.

And wondering if maybe--ironically--this is some horrible portent that the end really is near because sure as hell it seems like these people are willing enough to make it happen.

Monday, March 29, 2010

we are not "leader-ettes."

At the CSC 2009 hosted at Lipscomb that sparked the idea of inviting guest bloggers to share their narratives and experiences of gender within the Churches of Christ, one of the participants on the panel wryly mentioned her childhood status of "leader-ette." Because girls can't be leaders. At best, girls can be leader-ettes. A silent, secondary, expendable sidekick role, decorated with a frilly and feminine diminutive suffix.

Why would this be what we encourage our daughters to aspire to?

Here's some thoughts from a dad on L2L, and why he says 'no' for his daughters: "Taking a Principled Stand."

CCfB AIDS Walk NYC 2010

Clare has a collection of little frayed red ribbons on safety pins in her baby book. Someday in the future we'll be looking through it, and she'll be like, what are these things for? And I'll tell her, every year of your life until you were (???) years old, we walked in the AIDS Walk NYC together to help raise money to help people who were sick and dying from this disease.

My little activist. She may love princesses...but she's a Princess for Social Justice. Help her help people. Click here to go to our personal page to make a donation, or you can donate to the CCfB team (follow the link "my team page").

And thanks.

Monday, March 22, 2010

on the art of rejection

I'm a pretty thick-skinned individual these days, so racking up a nice collection of rejection letters from the very few institutions even offering theology positions this past year has not been devastating. Still, I can't help but notice the amazing qualitative difference in the rejection letters so far received. Compare:
"Thank you for your kind interest in our tenure track position... We received a record number of applications for this position, and so many of them are from such wonderful and thoughtful candidates. I wish we could hire them all. Of course that is impossible. Unfortunately, after review of your credentials by our search committee, it has been determined that we will not be able to pursue this process any further with you. I'm truly sorry to bear this news, but I do thank you sincerely for your interest in our position. I know that the future will bring its own share of success and blessings for you, perhaps even in ways you did not expect."

" grateful for your interest in our job... We can now announce that we are offering the position to ----. Again, we thank you for your interest and for the thoughtfulness of your application.  We all think highly of you and your work, and wish you every success as you move forward with your career."
Now, it seems like letter #1 is attempting to say the same thing as letter #2, but in fact, what you get is something more like "we had lots of people apply, some of whom really good but we're not saying whether or not you were one of those, we looked at your credentials and were frankly horrified, sorry to say so, but hey, thanks for applying and just as a parting shot, maybe you should start thinking about a different career path altogether."

[Note to self: JTB, if you ever find yourself writing one of these letters, remember to look up this post in the ol' blog archive before composing it.]

Thursday, March 04, 2010

you gotta be kidding

So, yesterday evening at about 5:30, after an hour+ of some extended and touch-and-go non-cooperative toddler negotiations, I come out of the grocery store (having saved $20 of my $78 trip, BTW, thanks to my cuz Renee's tip about, with my cart loaded down (with my own tote bags instead of grocery store bags, I love going green, plus, you can stuff a lot more groceries in your own unbreakable bags!), Clare riding on the front like a big kid, and I round the corner to our little green car ready to unload and get home pronto to start dinner. And witness the lady parked next to us in the big new shiny Lexus SUV push her cart directly behind our car and walk off.

I mean, I know that probably half the people that grocery shop don't bother corralling their carts, but most people seem to park them in reasonably out of the way places. Not directly behind neighboring parked cars.

You gotta be kidding me, I said out loud, but she was already starting her car and gettin the hell outta Dodge.

A few years back, I would have fumed silently, thrown a dirty look that didn't land, and been even more furious than warranted because of feeling impotent and helpless. A couple of years back, I would have probably lost it completely and gone overboard in explaining to this woman exactly how awful she is.

Yesterday, I managed (I think) a good, moderate, middle-ground response. Here's how it went down:

Me: [on seeing the cart, to self and Clare] You gotta be kidding me!

[I push my cart past my car, up the aisle to her driver's side window, and tap on it. She rolls it down and gives me a what the hell look.]

Me: Did you just leave your cart directly behind my car?

Her: Which car is yours?

Me, incredulously: The green one right next to you with the shopping cart behind it!

Her: Yeah, I could have done that.

Me, even more incredulously: Why would you do that?

Her: I'm in a big hurry.

Me: Really? Yeah, so am I. And I have a three year old and a cart full of groceries to unload, how am I supposed to deal with this?

Her: I figured the guy would come take it away. And I'm in a hurry.

[I just stare--can't figure out how she could be caught red-handed and not be the least bit repentant. I stare until she rolls her eyes, sighs, and makes like she is going to get out of the car and deal with her cart.]

Me, dripping with sarcasm and really mad now: Oh don't bother. Don't worry, I'll handle it. You're in a hurry. You just go on and have a great day.

[I get no reply. No thanks, no sorry, no nothing. I am so shocked at this that I shake my head and exclaim, "Jesus!" which, I hasten to explain, is not a curse but my shorthand habit of my preferred prayer for patience in absurd and stressful situations, the "Jesus prayer"--"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."]

She ought to be thanking God I'm back on Zoloft. Things could have gone a lot worse for her. As it was, I had to push her cart away from my car in order to unload mine, and her car was so big that she had to execute an extra point in her turn in order to pull out of her space and go past us without hitting her own cart. She refused to even look over the whole time she maneuvered her way out of her spot. So she was minorly inconvenienced by her own mean sneaky laziness, but not enough for me to get any schadenfreude-ish satisfaction out it. So I find myself hoping that deep down inside she felt really bad, even if she couldn't bring herself to show it. I mean, I'd like to think that she's basically a decent person and not a totally depraved wretch.

And my sis thinks I should have just pushed the cart over behind her car instead. There's some really satisfactory poetic justice to that solution. Wish I'd thought of it.