Adam Gopnik on C. S. Lewis

It seemed like an odd kind of conversion…

For any of you contemplating going to see the Narnia movie:

I was just reading Adam Gopnik’s bit on C. S. Lewis in a recent New Yorker and wanted to share. He had just discussed the fact that C. S. Lewis converted to being a fervent Anglican mid-life when he writes:

It seemed like an odd conversion to other peple then, and it still does. It is perfectly possible, after all, to have a rich romantic and imaginative view of existence–to believe that the world is not exhausted by our physical descriptions of it, that the stories we make up about the world are an important part of the life of that world– without becoming an Anglican. In fact, it seems much easier to believe in the power of the Romantic numinous if you do not take a controversial incident in Jewish religious history as the pivot point of all existence, and a still more controversial one in British royal history as the pivot point of your daily practice… Lewis insists that the Anglican creed isn’t one spiritual path among others but the single cosmic truth that extends from the farthest reach of the universe to the house next door. He is never troubled by the funny coincidence that this one staggering cosmic truth also happens to be the established religion of his own tribe, supported by every institution of the state, and reinforced by the university he works in, the “God-fearing and God-sustaining University of Oxford,” as Gladstone called it.

Cocaine is a helluva drug

OK, obviously everyone who reads this knows that George Bush is either a sociopath or a complete idiot, but sometimes I am struck fresh by how embarrassing it is. Maybe it is that I haven’t slept for longer than 4 hours in six months (new baby), or maybe it is that I watched an old Chapelle Show last night, but this morning when I read this I couldn’t even focus on the content of his words, but could only focus on the similarities between our president and the late Rick James:

“And she has got a judicial philosophy that I appreciate. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have named her to the bench; which is, I nominated her to the bench; which is that she will not legislate from the bench but strictly interpret the Constitution.”

Cocaine is a helluva drug.

George Bush doesn’t care about black people

Ah, I have a new favorite celebrity…for those of you who haven’t heard, Kanye West launched into this on live TV during the NBC fundraiser for Katrina victims:

West: I hate the way they portray us in the media. You see a black family, it says, “They’re looting.” You see a white family, it says, “They’re looking for food.” And, you know, it’s been five days [waiting for federal help] because most of the people are black. And even for me to complain about it, I would be a hypocrite because I’ve tried to turn away from the TV because it’s too hard to watch. I’ve even been shopping before even giving a donation, so now I’m calling my business manager right now to see what is the biggest amount I can give, and just to imagine if I was down there, and those are my people down there. So anybody out there that wants to do anything that we can help — with the way America is set up to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off, as slow as possible. I mean, the Red Cross is doing everything they can. We already realize a lot of people that could help are at war right now, fighting another way — and they’ve given them permission to go down and shoot us!

(West throws back to Myers, who is looking like a guy who stopped on the tarmac to tie his shoe and got hit in the back with the 8:30 to La Guardia.)

Myers: And subtle, but in many ways even more profoundly devastating, is the lasting damage to the survivors’ will to rebuild and remain in the area. The destruction of the spirit of the people of southern Louisiana and Mississippi may end up being the most tragic loss of all.

(And, because Myers is apparently as dumb as his Alfalfa hair, he throws it back to West.)

West: George Bush doesn’t care about black people!

(Back to Myers, now looking like the 8:30 to La Guardia turned around and caught him square between the eyes.)

The Big Disconnect

Bill Moyers was on the radio the other night giving a speech. He made about a zillion great points, but one that really stuck with me was this: the media thinks that reporting on what happened that day is journalism (he even quoted Jim Lehrer saying this). So when Bush stands in front of the White House and announces that everything is fine, that is what 99 % of press report. On the other hand, real journalism would mean reporting on how Bush said everything is fine, when in fact things are a disaster.

For the first time in recent memory, here is some journalism from CNN. Titled “The Big Disconnect” it contrasts what federal officials are annoucing with what everyone else sees.

Here’s a sample:

Conditions in the Convention Center

FEMA chief Brown: We learned about that (Thursday), so I have directed that we have all available resources to get that convention center to make sure that they have the food and water and medical care that they need. (See video of CNN asking why FEMA is clueless about conditions — 2:11)

Mayor Nagin: The convention center is unsanitary and unsafe, and we are running out of supplies for the 15,000 to 20,000 people. (Hear Nagin’s angry demand for soldiers. 1:04)

CNN Producer Kim Segal: It was chaos. There was nobody there, nobody in charge. And there was nobody giving even water. The children, you should see them, they’re all just in tears. There are sick people. We saw… people who are dying in front of you.

Evacuee Raymond Cooper: Sir, you’ve got about 3,000 people here in this — in the Convention Center right now. They’re hungry. Don’t have any food. We were told two-and-a-half days ago to make our way to the Superdome or the Convention Center by our mayor. And which when we got here, was no one to tell us what to do, no one to direct us, no authority figure.

I love IKEA, I hate IKEA

Considering that I just spent about nine hours putting together two flipping end tables, I don’t even know where to start with this one… But how about this: how about when IKEA addresses the issue of male/female sex characteristics, it also show something useful in the instructions? Something along the lines of how to put the damn thing together?

OSLO, Norway (Reuters) — Swedish home furnishings giant IKEA is guilty of sex discrimination by showing only men putting together furniture in its instruction manuals, Norway’s prime minister says.

Good news (from Arkansas!)

An Arkansas judge has ruled unconstitutional a law that bars gay people from becoming foster parents. When is the last time you read words like this in the news?

“The testimony and evidence overwhelmingly showed that there was no rational relationship between the . . . blanket exclusion [of gays] and the health, safety and welfare of the foster children,” [Judge] Fox wrote.

The whole article is below.
Continue reading “Good news (from Arkansas!)”

Blame Canada

Finally some good news to post! Canada’s Supreme Court just ruled that same-sex marriages are allowed under the Canadien Constitution. Apparently their system is set-up differently than ours in several ways (that turn out to not matter because the Prime Minister and the legislature are behind federal legislation that would legalize same-sex marriages across the entire country) so this isn’t the final step, but it is pretty darn close.

So, I hate to say it, but I can see why our friends would take this as a sign that crossing to the other side (of the border) is a good thing. Let’s hear it for shopping with favorable exchange rates!

Now THIS is news

Haven’t we all gotten a little gloomy lately? Let’s ignore (just for a minute) that the sky is falling and dish. Here is big news in the British actors world– Hugh Grant is retiring. Isn’t it fun to think about? Now the Brits are down to two men they can try (and fail) to pass off as hunky– Colin Firth and Jude Law. (I saw a preview of the new Bridget Jones movie last night and it looked to me like Hugh started his retirement before filming began!)

Wasn’t it nice to think about someone vaguely charming?

Damn! That was fast.

But not fast enough. Apparently Bill O’Reilly has decided to settle with the woman who dared reveal what a perv he is. I doubt he was fast enough to save his marriage though. Let me see… what would I do if it was published on the web that my husband was bragging to a stranger about going to Italy for sex romps while I was pregnant…and that same stranger said that he was sexually harrassing her…I think I might consider kicking his ass to the curb.

Nice that he dared to write a children’s book. God! I hate these people.

Here’s the Washington Post link to the story.