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Showing posts from June, 2005

Making Quilts and Carrying Water: Unsung Heroes

I'd like you to meet Karen Dawson, the USA TODAY All-American Teacher of the Year for 2003-04.

She's a cheerful lady, one of those relentlessly perky people who always seem to chair the committees. Among other things, Mrs. Dawson is the chairman of the National Association of Student Councils, an advisor to the sort of kids who were also cheerful and relentlessly perky and chair the committees. You know. The pretty, popular kids we all hated.

To look at Mrs. Dawson, to have a casual conversation with her, you would peg her as the product of several generations of white American suburbia, happily helping "the poor" without the slightest understanding of what it means to be poor, to endure hardship.

You would be wrong.

Mrs. Dawson's family fled Germany in the 1940s, after her grandparents were placed on the list for Birkenau. See, her grandmother had been a German Jew. She had since converted to Christianity and the rest of the family were all Christians, but because o…

Please Don't Rescue Me

What a way to piss off your viewership.

I'm comfortably reading my TV Guide, a story about the women characters in the testosterone-soaked "Rescue Me." Frankly, most of the characters annoy me. It's a well-written, well-acted show that I still dislike for the same reason I found it hard to like "The Shield" and even "NYPD Blue" until it hooked me: when every character is a racist, sexist sonofabitch, I lose interest. Nothing says characters have to be saints, but it would be nice if I wasn't rooting for them to die in a pool of their own vomit.

Still, I keep trying with "Rescue Me." It's peer pressure - all my friends like it. Besides, I like the female firefighter and the fact that they have a plus-size woman who is sexually active - with a male hottie - and apparently comfortable with herself.

Then I read comments that I think are from the male co-creators, Denis Leary and Peter Tolan, about the rising female viewership of this pr…

credo

A friend of mine asked point-blank what her friends believe. As in Believe, the big faith question. I get more of that than most, because unlike most of my friends and colleagues, I remained a Christian in the Episcopal denomination in which I was raised, regularly attend church, and yet do not denounce my Wiccan, Muslim, atheist, agnostic, Catholic or Jewish friends. The fact that they consider this rare saddens me.

On the one hand, I believe faith is an ongoing question, a journey for self-improvement and seeking greater meaning and harmony in our lives. There is an element of truth in all faiths (though it is REALLY hard to find one in the World Church of the Creator). Who am I to say that God visited us only once, in the person of Jesus Christ, to speak to only one group at one time? Who am I to say that he has not visited in many forms, under many names? Have we not entertained angels unawares?

To that extent, I cannot simply say, "It's doctrine. Accept it." That is t…