And it is STILL my favorite Christmas story. Here’s hoping each of us wears what becomes us this holiday season.
I was listening to NPR yesterday—an interview with Sir Tom Stoppard, screenwriter for the new Anna Karenina movie. When asked about the meaning of love he posed the question, “Are we born self-interested and we have to learn to be good? Or are we born selfless and merely corrupted by competition and institution?” I’m guessing there’s not any black or white answer to the question, though I was taught in my young religious days that we were born in total depravity with the need, of course, to be saved in an institution that just happens to make a lot of money off such doctrines—a truth that seems to belie the first argument in support of the second. Then there’s my own parenting that seems to betray the truths of corruption.
When my older son was five, he had a passion for Mary Poppins. He loved her magic, her command, her…
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Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size… That serves to explain in part the necessity that women so often are to men. And it serves to explain how restless they are under her criticism; how impossible it is for her to say to them this book is bad, this picture is feeble, or whatever it may be, without giving far more pain and rousing far more anger than a man would do who gave the same criticism. For if she begins to tell the truth, the figure in the looking-glass shrinks; his fitness for life is diminished. How is he to go on giving judgement, civilising natives, making laws, writing books, dressing up and speechifying at banquets, unless he can see himself at breakfast and at dinner at least twice the size he really is?
A Room of One’s Own Virginia Woolf, 1929 Continue reading
It is Memorial Day, 2014, and below I am re-posting a piece I wrote last summer in order to honor the sacrifice, courage, and service of Pvt Chelsea (Bradley) Manning. I’ve struggled with the appropriateness of re-posting my own writing, which seems particularly ingratiating with this piece, by far the most popular post on my blog–at least in terms of the number who read it. Continue reading
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Inevitably we look upon society, so kind to you, so harsh to us, as an ill-fitting form that distorts the truth; deforms the mind; fetters the will.
Three Guineas. Virginia Woolf, 1938.
This morning I rose with the dawn to spend a little time inspecting all the greens that emerged after the Mother’s Day snowstorm and several days of heavy rain. Surprises abound. Continue reading
What was the spirit in her, the essential thing, by which, had you found a glove in the corner of a sofa, you would have known it, from its twisted finger, hers indisputably?
Virginia Woolf on Mrs. Ramsay, To the Lighthouse
Mother’s Day, and I’m writing something my mom will never see though mostly she loves to read these little musings of mine. Here’s why she won’t see it: Continue reading
Filed under civil liberties, feminist, gay rights, gender, inclusion, institutions, lesbian, out late, LGBT, memoir, relationships, society
January 1, 2014. It’s been a while, and I’ve not much to say for myself, except that I joined Facebook (probably enough said) and have spent no small amount of time chasing shiny objects to ends sometimes worthwhile, other times… not so much. I joined conceding that, just maybe, social media really is the best way to spread information. Continue reading
In recent weeks, America has learned the extent to which our government collects data on its citizens, gathering and storing personal information on each and every one of its 316 million or so cell phone and Internet users–data available for scrutiny at any point that any one citizen becomes a threat to national security or, perhaps, simply inconvenient to the purposes of hoarding power. Continue reading