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Thursday, March 4, 2004

Two days
Until we go to FLA, that is--it's WARM there. Although it's certainly been WORSE here in Hoosier Hysteria Land, it's been in the 40s or 50s.
You know, if I get one more spam email about "Extending your member," I am just going to explode. Also, anything regarding hot girls, viagra, xanax, my mortgage, my bad credit, or various African-nation widows wanting to give me their Swiss bank accounts, although I do appreciate the thought. I attended a conference recently on the CAN-Spam Act passed by Congress last year, so I know our valiant governement officials are attempting to fix this, but let's just say I'm not holding my breath. Although, I must say, the do-not-call registries have certainly worked--we are very peaceful in the evenings now--if something similar for spam could be enacted, I'd be fer it!
On the night-stand
Mystic River by Dennis Lehane. Despite its bleakness I was really impressed with the writing, sometimes downright poetic, and the nice plot twist. But it was sad, really, really, sad, and just as I don't want to fill my head with violent movies (hard for me to get them out), I can't fill it with books like this. Shoot, I'm still recovering from In Cold Blood and Knock on Any Door, which I read as a very, too-young, kid in the '60s. Not that I'd put this book up there with them. But you're dealing with the person who had to QUIT reading Stephen King's Needful Things--because I could feel the tendrils of evil worming through my eyes into my brain.
Now, Swan Place by our Sophie and the Rising Sun author Augusta Trobaugh--there's one I know I will enjoy, and is going into my carryon for the plane to Florida. Also, despite its hardback heft, I'm taking Stone of Summer--I'm really curious about it. I'll keep my eyes open while I'm there...I'm sure we'll hit that discount-paperback-mecca, Wal-mart, and I can pick something up.
Heard on the radio our Hoosier legislators are back at it today, having somehow gotten around that policital hot-issue of gay marriage--as if Indiana were chock-full of folks 1) knocking on the statehouse door to be married to their same-sex partners and 2) staging traffic-stopping protests in front of the statehouse agin it. Oh I'm sure there are couples who would LIKE to be married...and more than a couple Hoosiers who will protest it if such a thing occurred here. Personally I have nothing against "the state" (Indiana or wherever) sanctioning civil unions for people who take the leap to be committed "forever" -- whether it's gay couples or even roommates or even a mom and adult kid who want to share a home, insurance, or tax status. But "marriage" -- that's a religious sanction that each demoniation has to hash out itself. And while some are busy quoting chapter and verse of all the places in the Bible that abhor homosexuality, how many are not just reading Jesus' words, but looking at what the guy DID? Upset the social order, gave women equal status, challenged and rearranged Jewish theology, challenged political and religious leaders, made everyone think, and announced there "was no marriage in heaven." Yelled at the apostles a lot...mainly, it seems to me, because they thought a lot like we do now. So I can't help but think that maybe, just maybe, Jesus would not be quite so hard on our gay friends as we think he might be. He'd just love them, and in that love, the answer to these thorny questions would become clear. But we here are earth are too busy quoting, fearing, hating, and legislating to listen.
Oh well!
"The Passion of the Christ" remains in the news. MB called yesterday to say he had seen it, and he said it's not a movie you "like" or "dislike." I knew what he meant. It's such a tidal wave to go see it...a wave I am trying to avoid and feeling very guilty about. I explained this to MB and he understood. It's as if you don't go see the movie, you're avoiding Christ's sacrifice...as if you can't face it. And I have to remind myself...it's a movie, not the last judgement! A Mel Gibson movie ("Mad Max") no less. Shoot, I've thought so much about it no one could say I'm avoiding the sacrifice of the Christ...I'm just avoiding going to Rave.
My boss sent this poem around to us today:
"To David, About His Education," by Howard Nemerov from "The Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov" (University of Chicago Press).

To David, About His Education

The world is full of mostly invisible things,
And there is no way but putting the mind's eye,
Or its nose, in a book, to find them out,
Things like the square root of Everest
Or how many times Byron goes into Texas,
Or whether the law of the excluded middle
Applies west of the Rockies. For these
And the like reasons, you have to go to school
And study books and listen to what you are told,

And sometimes try to remember. Though I don't know
What you will do with the mean annual rainfall
On Plato's Republic, or the calorie content
Of the Diet of Worms, such things are said to be
Good for you, and you will have to learn them
In order to become one of the grown-ups
Who sees invisible things neither steadily nor whole,
But keeps gravely the grand confusion of the world
Under his hat, which is where it belongs,
And teaches small children to do this in their turn.

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