Monday, December 22, 2008

Irony strikes again

Bush administration officials might be covering up their tracks:{3386CE02-96CC-4933-874A-C96677A2F36E}&dist=msr_1

If this is true, it confirms all my worst fears about this administration. Figures it's the week after I start to feel sorry for GWB. *Sigh*

Friday, December 19, 2008

GWB = Judas?

It's rare for me to post twice in the same week, let alone the same day, but I feel compelled. A lot has been made of the shoe throwing that happened this week towards GWB - I like the headlines that make fun of the fact that shoe-throwing in Islamic countries is a sign of disrespect, but apparently is okay every where else. It brings a nice bit of realism to what is becoming an overinflated ideological identity, an us vs. them mentality that just isn't true. Throwing shoes at people = not a sign of respect pretty much universally.
As anyone who has read past blogs might realize, there have been a lot of changes in this country in the eight years that GWB has been in office, many of which I have vehemently disagreed with. I can't stand listening to him talk, I think of him with distaste that our President could have brought the office to such a bumbling disprespected conclusion. Yet, I and many others are guilty of exactly what Congress and Big Business want us to do - blame the figurehead. Presidents have some power, but by far the most power resides with Congress and lobbyist. It's not flashy in the same way that the latest recession doesn't have one cause - it's a lot of minor details that most people get bogged down on. Don't get me wrong - the Presidential right to pardon is probably one of the most abused privileges of office in my opinion; however, presidents just don't get to do a whole lot besides be figureheads.
That being said, as much as I decry this presidency, it is not right to put all the blame with Bush and act as if it will all be better once Obama is in office. True, he's already lining up a talented cabinet. He will still have to deal with Congress and Big Business in the same way that every president has since the birth of the corporation. Money is what talks, people. Money is what put Bush in power and kept him there. Money is what has allowed people to look the other way as atrocities are committed. After all, look at Oskar Schindler...yes, he saved a lot people, but if he and other businessmen had taken a stand against slave labor and Nazi fanaticism do you think history would have quite turned out the same?
Alright...stepping away from Godwin's law and back to the point - it's wrong to place the blame for the failures of this country squarely on Bush's shoulders. He's a figurehead. He's been a participant in a very unpopular movement which has a right to a backlash. He is not the devil. He is a man, and at the end of the day when I see the videos of him being shunned at G20 and having shoes thrown at him (he's a world leader!!) I feel pity for a man that like many of us has gotten caught in the wheels of a machine. Yes, he participated in it and helped to create it, but who among us has not participated in actions with unforseen consequences? He is human.
So, President George W. Bush, I wish you peace. I hope that when you go from office that you go to a quiet existence, a humbled man but not a broken man. Each man's failure diminishes me, to paraphrase John Donne, and I feel a part of what is occuring. Peace and the setting aside of grudges is not weakness, rather the mark of compassion and a sublime understanding that "but for the grace of God go I." I wish you the best, my one-time foe, and a happy time with your family away from the pressure of the Presidency.

Christmas with the agnostics

There is a great series of photos over at The Big Picture ( from the Hubble Telescope. These picture are awe inspiring and amazing, especially considering the Hubble's troubled history. As always, it's more my response to the comments that I'm writing about rather than telling you what you can see for yourself.
It strikes me more and more that there is a real anger in the non-Christian community. Anger at being persecuted, anger at not being legitimate to Christians, and anger at not having their rights respected in everyday life. I know this anger - I've lived it, too. An anecdotal story - once, while in college and undecided about religion, I was reclining in the grass and enjoying the beauty around me. Two girls walk over and ask me if I've received I like to call it, "the talk." I'm feeling particularly in tune with nature that day so when they ask me what religion I am (after finding out that I am not Christian,) I tell them "I'm sort of Wiccan." I kid you not, without missing a beat the one girl tells me, "That's okay. We're all wicked before we receive Jesus into our hearts." I'm not calling Christians morons - I'm just saying that a little cultural awareness would be nice, you know, before you try and change us.
So I come from an understanding of the persecution and misunderstandings that come from being nonChristian in a Christian community. There's a lot of damage control - "yes, I still have morals, no I don't believe in Satan, I don't know what happens when we die, if there is a God then he made me who I am and he'll understand"...anyone who has lived this life understands. Family that prays for you, or flat out doesn't believe you. The whole "You're too good of a person not to believe in God" - (yes, that's a real example. On more than one time, too.)
What I don't understand is using the veil of science and technology to hide the fact that athiests/agnostics have an axe to grind. In the comments of the advent calendar, many went to religion. There are comments along the lines of "God is amazing" and "The glory of the Lord shall be revealed." Now I can be as sensitive as the next person when it comes to religion, but are the comments from the athiests/agnostics really necessary? Here's a quote - "it is so sad how ignorance is so alive in the world that when religious nuts who simply can't comprehend such great images see past what is there, and instead start babbling about God and creationism."
Again, I don't know what this particular author was responding to, and honestly after that I didn't read all the comments, but...seriously? Where's all that tolerance that nonChristians so rightly crave? Calling someone a religious nut because their gut reaction in their experience with something so majestic is to call it God? Excuse me, but that is the beauty of faith - to fill up with wonder and awe. Most people who have religious affiliations that they truly believe in look for just that experience, and I think it's wrong to deny them, just as it's wrong to deny me my awe not affiliated with a god.
Athiests/agnostics are crossing their own lines into intolerance by calling everyone a "nut" or implying that they are stupid for believing in God. Faith is not inherently tied in with intelligence. There are plenty of smart people on both sides. The anger there at being persecuted cannot be assuaged by becoming the persecutor.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Still not Spam

I'm not a very nostalgic person. I remember things about the past but they seem distant, like they never really belonged to me. Sure, I went to high school, but I'm not that person anymore. I was in a relationship for 10 years, but I'm not that person anymore either. I have this increasingly long continuity of memories that add together but aren't quite the sum of their parts. It's incredibly frustrating how fragmenting depression can be. I've been working on controlling it for as long as I've known the word, yet all I seem to do is make myself into different versions of myself like combinations to a padlock I can't open yet. I've given up thinking there's a solution. For me, there is only coping every winter and trying to remember all the tricks that worked from the last time to keep me from losing my job, killing my relationships, and getting suicidal. It's not easy, especially since depression both impairs memory and concentration.
My mind is a mess. Since this blog is degenerating into me complaining about my life and not focusing on putting my thoughts out there, I'll sign off for now.