You like a good documentary, right? Well, I’ve got one you must go see this weekend—What Would Jesus Buy?, about one of my favorite groups on the planet, Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping. It starts off by showing some pretty terrifying clips that underline just how stuff-crazy we get in the holiday season—including an interview with a parent who landed in the hospital after a stampede for XBox 360s. (He said it was all worth it.) From there, the movie follows the Stop Shopping Choir on a road trip across the United States where they invade chain stories and sing their hearts out to try to get people to take their shopping down a notch. The best is when they descend on the Mall of America dressed in their white and red choir robes—it takes security a little while to figure out what is going on.
Monthly Archives: November 2007
As the proud owner of a Mastiff/Black Lab mix who doesn’t understand the full potential of his 175 lbs (that, by the way, is an underestimate — he was leaning up against the wall when the vet recorded it), I would like to be the pack leader in the house. It’s my sacred writing space, after all. The only trouble is that the little fox-dog is actually the one in charge. With a quick arrrrr in Porter’s thick face, Skylar has the massive beast on the floor in submission and ready to do his bidding. Unfortunately, our pack leader doesn’t employ this technique when Porter is jumping up and down with the impact of an earthquake, or wiggling his way in between me and Joe on the love seat, or whining louder than the sonic boom while I’m attempting to focus on my work. Not even when Porter’s trailing drool from his underbite.
I need Cesar!
Two and a half years ago, I went to my five-year college reunion and realized just how cultish college can be. Even as adults, many of my former classmates professed that they continue to define themselves by where they went to college. All their friends went to Dartmouth. They married people from Dartmouth. They wanted their children to go to Dartmouth. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were hoping to be buried at Dartmouth.
Believe it or not, there’s actually a company out there which will ensure that college-cult members can be laid to rest with their school colors and logo. According to their website, Colligaite Memorials is a “family owned business striving to provide tasteful personalization to a unique group that wishes to declare their life interest. That extends to expression of loyalty to their alma maters or to their favorite collegiate sports teams.” Customers have their choice of cherry wood, oak or mahogany coffins that can be detailed with about 100 different college insignias.
What is it about college that inspires some people to put more emphasis on these four-years than any other time in their lives, including the after-life? Why do so many people choose to define themselves by where they went to school?
As I return to work after the long weekend, I’m re-reading Dr. Christiane Northrup’s book Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. I discovered this provocative quote from the Bible in her final chapter:
If you bring forth what is within you,
What you bring forth will save you.
If you do not bring forth what is within you,
What you do not bring forth will destroy you.
—Jesus, from The Gospel According to Thomas
Dr. Northrup introduces the quote in the context of women healing their own past pain (individual and ancestral) and how this leads to the healing of the world.
What do you think about this passage, and its assertion?
More often than not, my Sunday newspaper reading experience is depressing. Wars, natural disasters, violence, economic depression, and tyrannical leaders seem to be par for the course these days. But this Sunday, nestled into the couch and checking out the City section of the New York Times, I came across a story that made me want to climb up to the rooftop and shout, “See?! People are amazing!”
It seems that Jorge Muñoz, “the chicken and rice man,” is this Colombian immigrant living in Queens who, for the last 21 years, has been feeding a group of illegal immigrants hot meals every single night out of the pure goodness of his own heart. He and his mom plan huge meals, cook them in their tiny kitchen, and then drive them out to a spot in Jackson Heights where homeless and hungry folks–mostly Latino it seems–hang and wait for their 5-foot-2 angel.
Jorge’s example got me thinking about a few things. One is how refreshing it is to read heartwarming news. I wish that the news gathering tradition wasn’t so fundamentally built on looking for “the bad stuff.” But second, it really got me thinking about the choices we make every day, what we deem possible.
Wednesday night felt like Friday. Smith Street was full of folks who didn’t have to work the next day. No flights home for us, we simply wanted to enjoy the city in that special middle of the week, four-day weekend kind of way.
After a very French dinner with my friend J, who’s moving to Paris in a week, I got on a downtown C train at Jay Street. I am still amazed that, approaching midnight, I have to stand on the subway as if it were rush hour. One stop later, I scored a seat.
iPod firmly in place, playing my new favorite song, “Misery Business” by Paramore, on repeat. I was thoroughly engaged in this week’s Village Voice, reading J. Hoberman’s review of the Bob Dylan biopic, “I’m Not There.”
When the subway doors opened at Nostrand Avenue a man on the platform screamed, “There’s a rat on the train! There’s a rat on the train!”
We thought he was crazy.