Nothing doing today that really merits a post on its own, beyond the usual politics/war/does Obama bowl like a girl stuff.
So let's see what else is shakin'. I just read a short but interesting article in this month's Hadassah magazine on the Kibbutz Ketura's Arava Institute. The institute was founded in the inspiration of the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty in 1996, on the border of the two countries. Environmentalist Alon Tal envisioned bringing together Israeli, Arab and international students to create leadership on issues "transcending national boundaries" in order to forward both environmentalism and peaceful coexistence. What's inspiring is the role that women, both Muslim and Jewish, have played in advancing both the goals of the school and their emerging careers in fields such as environmental law and water management. It's just one story, and one school, but it's the kind that make me feel hopeful; for the environment, for the advancement of women, and for peace. arava.org
By now you've heard that Randi Rhodes of AirAmerica Radio has been suspended for calling HRC a "big f&&&ng whore." Stay classy, Randi. Stay classy. My larger issue with it is what I call my "Ronald Reagan Rule" for Women (huh?!). Ronnie said Thou Shalt Not Speak Ill of a Fellow Republican. I personally think that's hooey. But, from a female perspective, I just really draw the line at women calling other women names like "bitch" and "whore" and "slut." I have disliked plenty of women in my life; don't get me wrong. But, for me, a woman using that kind of epithet towards another woman is not only vulgar (says she of the Multiple F word posts...) but self-hating. Those words were invented to judge and control women on qualities by which men are not similarly judged. And don't tell me "mimbo" is an equivalent. They are angry, nasty words that I just cannot countenance being used about another woman, no matter how much I personally dislike her. Would I allow for "termagant" or "shrew"? Perhaps. But the Seven Deadly Sisters (those evil words used only for women) are absolutely beyond the pale. Even for me.
Speaking of beyond the pale, I'm not so pale anymore. Oh, don't get me wrong. Still Scottish. Still stopping traffic on a sunny day with the glare. But not so...translucent...shall we say these days. So I've got that going for me, what with my functioning red cells and all. I've also got my daily-expanding moon face. When I first took the prednisone, you will recall how upset I was. I had a great chat with one of my best girlfriends the other day that helped me just get over it. She has three kids and each time claims to have gained like 40 pounds during the pregnancy. (As a side note, she is the kind of beautiful that makes an entire room stop and look at her when she enters, and yet she is totally unaware of it). She took it very personally when people would comment on her weight while pregnant (who ARE these people who do these cruel things?!!) because even though you know that you're not "fat" in the traditional sense, you are an object of conversation because of it, and it is also very much out of your hands unless you want to go the Nicole Kidman/Victoria Beckham 12-pound gain route, which no sane person should. So she said you just kind of have to dissociate yourself from the weight (your own issues) while feeling extremely associated with the baby causing it (your love for things other than self). So I practiced dissociating myself from the puffiness enveloping me yesterday while associating myself with the healing as a result of it, and it kind of worked. So I look in the mirror and see this rapidly-expanding face. And whereas a few days ago I'd have been sucking in my cheeks and cursing the gods of water retention, today I just kind of laughed like, "Wow! Those are some cheeks you've got there E! And those cheeks are the reason your butt cheeks are not glued to a toilet all day. Celebrate!" You can call me Fat and Happy if you must.
If you need some Friday diversion, you can visit http://www.telegraph.co.uk
for the Telegraph's list of the 101 Most Useful Websites. I personally think it's a bit lame to put Google first, since...duh. But further down the list are some good ones, especially Arts & Letters Daily for good reading and the Royal Horticultural Society, which I visit for gardening tips.
And here is an article by two former military men (one of whom was an assistant Secretary of Defense under Reagan) regarding the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's patriotism: chicagotribune.com. As you've no doubt noticed, I've avoided talking about the Wright controversy too much. That is for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, because people in glass houses... I've sat through sermons in Presbyterian churches, Catholic churches and Jewish temples that I'd apparently, by our new standards, have to answer for if I ever ran for office. I belonged to a temple where the rabbi routinely gave sermons with which I did not agree, and with political phraseology I wouldn't use. But that's where I went. It was local. The people were friendly. And, let's be honest, he didn't say that stuff enough to warrant a walkout. And anyone who ever claims I should have is an ass. Secondly, if you watch--actually watch--the ENTIRE sermons delivered by Rev. Wright, and not just the 16 seconds Faux News is showing you, you get a completely different sense of things. Like, for example, in the famous "9/11 is America's chickens coming home to roost" clip, Wright was actually quoting Bush administration Ambassador Peck--speaking on FOX News. Here is a clip of ten minutes of his sermon, most of which strikes me as rather standard Sunday morning fare:
The last minutes of the sermon ask what should be the response to the "unspeakable act" of 9/11, and Wright says it should be self-examination. Less about getting other people right with God and more about making sure YOU are right with God.
And during this day before the sundown that brings in Shabbat, on all things from name calling to preacher judging to engaging in petty nastiness for sport, I say a hearty "Amen" to that.