Monday, March 26, 2012


                                                  KATNISS and ANTIGONE:

     Though the onset of their respective crises differ in the details, each women finds herself faced with a moral imperative, setting her in direct, deadly opposition to the demands of established law. Antigone chooses to bury her rebellious brother Polyneices, despite a decree from  the new King, her uncle,Creon, which states that anyone who attempts to bury a rebel shall also suffer death. Her love for her brother, combined with her sense of obligation to fulfill the rituals which would release the deceased's shade from its mortal confinement, leads her to act in defiance of conformity, even at the peril of her own life.
     Katniss Everdeen, already toughened by the simple task of seeing to her own survival, as well as that of her mother and younger sister, Primrose, finds herself pitted against the power of Panem. In an established order, which not only cares little for the well-being of its denizens, but actively orchestrates a punitive, death-inducing ritual upon its youngest members, Katniss elects to substitute herself for Prim in the annual Hunger Games lottery. In this, her sense of familial responsibility also outweighs her sense of self-preservation.
     Antigone is forced to face the wrath of Creon, once known for his smooth-talking demeanor, and who now relies exclusively on harsh logic to maintain control of his city.  “Show me the man who keeps his house in hand, he's fit for public authority", has become his view. His scorn for anarchy leads him to wield power in a manner which borders on obsessive and irrational. Katniss must contend with the Capitol's staunch desire to remind the districts that they are, and shall forever remain, subordinate to it in every way. The district whose Tribute wins the annual theatrical slaughter receives food and privilege for the following year. Districts whose Tributes fail become subject to further sanctions. In her continued defiance of order, Katniss seeks to keep both herself and Peeta alive, even though only one survivor is ever permitted. Her artful, floral burial of Rue, captured on camera is, like Antigone's sprinkling of dust on Polyneices' corpse, ultimately the intimate anarchy which places her forever at odds with the Capitol and its President, who personally seeks her destruction as compense for her rebellion.
     Acts of love, acts of anarchy, acts of self-sacrifice. These acts forever define two indomitable female protagonists. Faced with harsh choices, and the harsher dictates of conscience, each young woman answers that call, knowing  her cause hopeless. Antigone's love for her brother and Katniss' love for Prim, loyalty to Rue, and growing affection for Peeta brought them to defy the established order of their world and make their impassioned rebellions the stories of legend. One an ancient, the other, a future icon, each a powerful figure, worthy subjects of our literary admiration. Mayhap, Katniss had read the tale of Antigone and knew the lessons to be drawn. Where there exists evil, good must be brought to bear, despite the personal price paid. Where there exists love, all manner of evil may ultimately be vanquished. Where there exists a fierce heroine, a great story may be told for generations.

Friday, December 16, 2011

PS from JC

PS Dude,

     Sorry to see that your Jets won. Geaux SAINTS!  :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Dear Russ,

     Sorry that I've taken a while to answer your letter. With my BD coming up, and all, things here have been kinda hectic. Not the Buy One Get One stuff, mind you, more in the O Holy Night range. Fun, but busy. Plus, I've been spending a boatload of time helping ease quite a few aching hearts. This season seems to really eat at some folks' spirits, for any number of reasons. I'm finally sitting down for a sec, at Ye Heavenly Coffee Shoppe. Yup, we have 'em, too. Only much better blends than you all have. None of that Grande, Vente nonsense either, just big mugs!
     So... I enjoyed your letter. And your questions. I LOL'd @ the Josh, Son of God bit. And the OCCUPY THE TEMPLE line was both hilarious, and historically accurate. I was truly PO'd with all that commercial crap going on in my Dad's house. BTW: That was the second OCCUPY moment in my life. First time was when I was a kid and had the pleasure of lecturing the old dudes. Mom was NOT happy. Nothing like a Jewish mother, and her gift for guilt trippin' to make a boy hang his head. Days and days of rants about shaming the family name. Go figure!
     Your observations about organized religion seemed pretty much on point. It was never my plan, desire, or intention to create a formal structure where grown men, and sometimes women, dress up in Broadway costumes, and chant Hummuna Hummuna Hummuna, while burning insense and crafting rules for everyone to obey. And I mos' def' did not wanna see people fighting and dying to prove that their deity has bigger cajones that the other guy's. Not    at    all.
     I only ever had two rules. 1. Love God above all things. 2. Love your neighbor as you love yourself.
     I'm thinking that #2 may have been a mistake. Too many people fail to love themselves appropriately, so the odds of them loving anyone else are slim. And I've had a coupla thousand years to ponder that.
     So, I'm changing #2 somewhat. It now goes: Love yourself totally, even if you're a total screwup
knucklehead who just can't seem to get anything right, ever, because you are SOOOOOO innately good anyway. Then, love everybody else just like that.
     It's a bit wordier, but I think it nails the heart of the matter pretty well. Feel welcome to let me know what you think. If you do agree, I wouldn't  mind you getting the word out. The NEW GOOD NEWS! No other rules, just love. God. Yourself. Everybody. Not necessary to love everything God, you, or they DO. Just love the persons. Even the deific ONE.  :)
     Just for the record, God does NOT hate anyone. The truth is he's got far better ways to expend energy than to waste any on hatin' ons. Keeping a universe intact, moving, alive, and, loving each and every single subatomic particle in it is quite sufficient. Here's a lil secret, but you can't let it out, yours ain't the only universe in town, bro. The actual number is so whoppery, I'm not even gonna tell you the word for it. Settle for : LOTS.
     I hope I've addressed your basic concerns. If so, you're welcome. If not, please share. I'll msg you my personal J-Mail tag.
     Mom and Dad both said to tell you Hi, and remind you they love you. The Spirit, is, as always, out somewhere, but I'm sure he'd say the same.
     Have a Merry My Birthday!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Dear Jesus,
     Good morning! I'm sitting here enjoying my Sunday morning pot of cinnamon-laced coffee and thinking about you. I don't often go to church these days, but your official followers have been making headlines, again, and not much in a warm, spiritually encouraging way.
     And, I have questions. Lots of 'em. In as much as you seem to be a pretty welcoming sort with a decent sense of humor, I thought I'd run 'em by you, just to see what you think.
     I' ve read, on a number of occasions, that your actual Hebrew name is Yeshua, or Joshua, and that the name Jesus is, in fact, a Greek version of it. Kinda neat! Josh, Son of God. I  think it's pretty cool!
     My first questions concern religions. What exactly, is your take on formal, organized religion? How do you feel about that Muhammed fellow starting another one, in competition with Judaism and Christianity? Any thoughts about all the blood that's been shed in the name of religion?
    What's your take on that Luther guy and his nailing those ninety-five theses on the church doors in Wittenburg, and the HRCC booting him out? How about the pudgy king, and his lust-driven foundation of another branch of Christianity?
     I'm thinking that all the stuff the Muslims are doing to each other lately, like blowing up the opposite branch during religious festivals might seem pretty strange to you, too.
     But the bit that continues to puzzle me is the folks who claim to be your followers continually dumping steaming piles of doodoo on just about everyone else, especially Muslims and gays. Have you caught the pastor in Florida who planned to burn copies of the Koran, or Rick Perry's pal who described the Muslims as being satanic?
     How about that Baptist church in Kentucky this week, declaring that interracial marriages are forbidden?
     Have you seen the news about the Catholic Archbishop of New York pitching totally apoplectic fits about gay marriage? Or the Anglican Archbishop in Nigeria praising the laws which would incarcerate gays, or people who speak out for gay rights?
     Loads of crap being slung, all in your name!
     So, diligent fellow that I am, I decided to take another look at the old New Testament, just to see what you've actually said about this kind of thing.
     All I was able to find were instances where you spoke about prayer, about serving, turning the other cheek, loving one's enemies,and forgiveness, and the bit about the lameness of self-exaltation.  The only times I saw you truly ticked off, you were yelling at the Pharisees, calling them "whitened sepulchres", a pretty nasty bunch, indeed! Then there was the time you went ballistic about the cheating money-changers, and did your own  "OCCUPY THE TEMPLE" gig! Pretty cool!
     Nowhere did I see anything about you hating anyone, ever. So, I'm thinking that the folks who claim that God hates fags, and Muslims, and anyone at all, are probable just angry at their own lives, and that taking it out on others is the easy path for them.  Maybe they're just tryna establish their own props at the expense of others, kinda like Hitler did with your peeps. Jus' sayin'.
     Anyway, I'm gonna go watch the NY Jets play some football.
     I want to thank you, in advance, for taking the time to read all this. I would greatly appreciate a response when you have a chance.
   Meantime, I want to wish you an early Happy Birthday! Also, please give my warmest regards to your Mother, Father, and of course, to my friend, the Holy Spirit!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Not So Merry Perry

GOP Presidential candidate and current Texas governor, Rick Perry this week ran an ad in Iowa claiming that it's a shame that gays can serve openly in the military while Christians cannot openly celebrate Christmas, or pray in public schools.
Gotta love the BIG LIE strategy!
There is absolutely no prohibition regarding prayer in school. Anyone who wishes to do so, may do so, in any faith or language, openly or obscurely. The school may not lead or conduct the prayer, but any student or staff member may freely participate.
The last time I checked, there were no laws prohibiting the "open" celebration of Christmas either. Society at large, having concluded that there are actually citizens living here who do not hold the belief, has apparently deemed it reasonable and appropriate to share the somewhat more inclusive Happy Holidays greeting with strangers.
Mr. Perry, in his quest for the glittering crown of power and glory deems it appropriate to demean, dismiss and continually denigrate others, so that he may climb upward on their broken spines. He is clearly in the middle of Seinen Kampf.
So, Merry Christmas. Happy Channukah. Happy Kwanza. Happy Holidays.
Unless, of course, you're gay.

Friday, November 25, 2011


   The clan gathered yesterday to give thanks. Irish Americans, Korean Americans, Asian Indian Americans. Old folks, young kids. The younguns helped whip up four different flavored whipped creams for the pies and cheesecake. Rob kidoed, spoke the prayer. We inhaled turkey, kimchi, goat. We laughed, drank, ate and laughed some more. We gave thanks.
   America gathered last night, at the entrances to malls, stores, shopping centers, large and small. America gathered to snatch, grab, yank, shove, take, get, punch and pepper spray the competition, in a turbulent paen to consumerism elevated to the status of National Holiday of the First Order.
   Bleak Friday has replaced Thanksgiving. You don't ever see ads or announcements celebrating the simple warmth of family, gathered in the enveloping joy of deeper things. Starting in August we've been treated to the siren announcements of garish holiday displays, luring, enticing, enchanting, inviting, drawing us into the perfect maelstrom of a Daffy Duckish mine mine mine moment.
   We ended our gathering yesterday full, content in the goodness of our enduring familial bonds, and the joys of all those F words: Family, Friends, Food, Football, Fun, Fantastic Flatulence.
   America ended Bleak Friday with stuff.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Homiez n Da Rulez

   I have had, during the course of my course, of course, three unique homiez, Shakespeake, Plato, Jesus. Not in any particular order, mind you, but each holding equal weight, they have, along with dear old Mom, given this boy all the life lessons one could hope for. Others along the path have contributed to the goodness, but these three are my deep homiez.
   One spoke indirectly, through drama and poetry.  One spoke directly, through speech and example. One spoke largely by telling another's tale.
   The Bard, after whom I name my online selves, taught me that it's all on me, that there are no vengeful gods pissing in my soup. JC was all about feeding peeps, curing peeps, blessing peeps, loving peeps, and never, ever hatin' on peeps. Plato, the most removed of the three, reminds that although we are not perfect, we are truly eudaemonistic, that is, moving towards the one good. Pretty much what Mom said stuff.
   If asked what I'd like to be when I grow up, I reply that I have no plans to grow up. Older, hopefully.  But not up. I want, always, to view the world through hopeful, wistful, wondering eyes, open to all the lovely possibilities.
   My real deal, no-shit goal is, and for many years has been, to meet, and play, with as many people as I possibly can, before I die.
  There's a reason.
   Ever watch two three-year olds, sitting in a nasty puddle, making mud pies, all the while laughing their asses off? At that moment, they are moving toward that Platonic state of eudaemonicity. They are being godlike.
   What's a fancy word for play? Recreation. What's the big whoop power we usually ascribe to the deity? Creation. What are we doing when we play? Re-creating ourselves. Yup. Godlike in all respects.
   So, the life lessons, garnered through careful observation, and application of The Wisdom of the Homiez,
basically boil down to this: Take Care of Business & Play Nice in the Sandbox.                                   
   You will, I am certain, have noted that there are no subordinate clauses in the lessons. It's not "take care....unless my ass is tired or cranky". It's mos' def not "play nice...unless she called me a name."
   Jus' sayin'.
   Like Mom. And my homiez.