Wordy Wednesday August 20th

Just watched this video of Last Week Tonight.  Wow, this is a good bit from John Oliver.  Really good.  He discusses the militarization of the police in relation to the Ferguson, MO case, and then goes on to discuss the militarization of the police on a larger scale; citing this quote from MSNBC;

Since 1996 in response to the war on drugs the Department of Defense transferred 4.3 billion dollars in military equipment to local and state police.  After 9-11, the department Homeland Security made additional equipment available to local law enforcement through ferderal funds for terrorism prevention.

He shows footage of the police in New Hampshire using a bear cat,

and Georgia police driving a tank.   Also speculates on the sensibility of the police in Ferguson being dressed in camaflouge, saying "if they want to blend in with their surroundings they should be dressed as a dollar store."  So this is funny, funny, funny, but also.....yikes.  
His points about the massive militarization of the police corraborated something that Gary Franchi said in this video I mentioned a few weeks back; essentially that our policemen have so much military might that there is no way anyone could go up against that.  Where this becomes frightening is in the case of a coup; we'd have no choice but to swallow whatever government comes into power.  yikes.  And when you consider that 9-11 was not terrorists at all, and therefore Homeland Security total bullshit, it becomes alarmingly clear that setting up our policemen with inordinate amounts of military weapons was the internt all along--and then the question becomes, to what end?  To which the most obvious answer is, so that the masses won't be able to revolt.  


Also saw this tweet from Sean Stone......err, dunno.  Is this guy some sort of megalomaniac?  A real turn off.  He's had some substantive inteveiws, but.....

Or maybe I'm just reading too much into it.


I saw "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" this week for the first time in its entireity.  Had definitely seen parts of this in the past.....on a plane I think.  Now that is a really good movie!  Watched it mostly to see the young Leonardo and Johnny Depp.....Decaprio acted his ass off in this movie!  And so fun to watch knowing what a bright future he (and Depp) had in front of them (or well, bright except for all of those frozen smiles at the Oscars....come to think of it Decaprio is to the Oscars is what so many single woman are to her 30s....it'll happen, maybe not this year, or the next, or the next or the next or the next, just keep a big toothy grin on your face and radiate optimism......k, er, maybe it won't happen.)

huh.....anyway............loved the mom.  what a character.  when was the last time you saw someone so overweight in a movie?  And I loved how she'd go to such extremes for her children (Leaving the house to go to the police station after 7 years of being home-bound, and deminading that her son be released).  And the dialoge between the siblings was really good, and the family dynamic seemed so realistic; esentially they had lots of issues with one another, yet you saw them acting as a unit so much of the time.  Families aren't depicted like that a lot of the time.  Dialogue with children can seem so canned.

Who wrote this movie?  Ah, Peter Hedges.  This screenplay is right up there with As Good As it Gets.  


This week I discovered the Seraphic Singles; a 6-year old blog dedicated to single Catholic women, emphasizing that there's no reason to not feel 'seraphic' about being single.  It's created by Dorothy Cummings; a really heady Catholic woman; she has a photo of Edith Stein on the front page and appropriately so.  And it's almost a purely written blog, with precious few photos. 

These posts have an extremely condescending air...she starts off one saying "Hello my little singles".  Hmmmmmmmm......(to provide some context; for the entirety of this blog, Cummings is married)......it seems that the of this blog is something along the lines of "now that I'm a fulfilled married women, I get to pat you on the head, you little single woman you."  
God I hope not.  But if there's any place that's deified marriage and turned it into a god in its own right it's these fucking churches.  And perhaps most especially the women.  Several years ago I attended a meeting with a group of women at a church regarding the Sunday childcare program; at one point the conversation drifted onto the man one of the women was dating, and speculation as to whether or not he was 'the one'.......and it stayed there.  For the entire meeting.  

And that's not to say that Cummings necessarily buys into this idea, I'd like to give her the benefit of the doubt; condescension could just be her writing voice.  But what's this idea that sometimes the most obvious answer is also the right one?  Her new blog is called 'Edinburgh houswife" and looks like it'll be painting a picture of her 'domestic bliss'; she gives lists about everything that she's cleaned that day, and what part of the beef she'll be cooking for her husband that evening.  Now that's really freaky.  And goddamnit, and this is they hypocrisy that I see at the crux of all these religious married women---if she's so focused on being a devoted housewife, and so entitled to condescend to single women on the grounds that she is married and they are single, then how can she possibly at the same time say that being single is seraphic?  To her mind, it's a waiting period.  Waiting and hoping that something better will happen.   

In one of her holiday posts she tells all of 'her' single women that she doesn't want them drinking alone on Christmas day.  Wow.  Wow.  So, again, you see a woman who implicitly thinks that being single is something to be utterly depressed about.  

Here's her perspective on virginity and relationships;

 Nobody gives you a prize for virginity in this life. If you hang onto it forever, you get a crown in heaven, I believe--at least metaphorically. If you trade it in for marriage, you get the satisfaction of knowing that God is pleased you obeyed Him in this respect. 
And that's it, frankly, speaking as one who knows. You don't necessarily win your husband's everlasting love and respect, if you wouldn't have had it otherwise.

I love how she says "speaking as one who knows."  Again, her patronizing tone comes into play.  Who is she to say that 'she knows' except that she's been married (I think twice) and so has had sex with (at least) two different men?  The intimate opinion of two different men isn't comprehensive.  
Dunno, gonna have to write this woman off.  
I have puzzled over this myself; in this age where many, many women have had sex with 20-30 different partners and who continue to couple up and who's current partner fully expect her to give out....do their current partners really care about what came before them?  Practically, how could he care about it, at least inordinately?  
Men would be a better to consult about this question.

These Catholic single women blogs in general...ah....there's a lot of them, I've discovered.  A little bit wary of them, in that oftentimes their tone seems to be something along the lines of "I've discerned that God has called me to marriage and since I am not yet married I'll dedicate this corner of the web to venting about how HARD it is for me to be unmarried when I shouldn't be and I just want to have babies since that's why God made me and blah blah blah."

What I man to say is that the tone of these blogs seems to be fundamentally SELF-CENTERED, which I find especially difficult to stomach when coming from a woman who describes herself as *100% Christian*

And I think that there is a valid point to make that living a single life is hard, and that there are some unbelievable attitudes out there (especially) regarding single women, and that you will encounter some of these 'singleisms' most overtly within religious communities.  And so it's good to find a place to vent, provide some solace, and additionally to make sense of the dating culture and how to navatgae it.  So yes, the single women blogs do definiately provide a practical outlet/forum.  Perhaps it takes some discerning which ones.

Some of these single women are YOUNG....even under 25.....hardly old enough to characterize themselves as single since they were practically just students and practially just teenagers and probaby in no position to be getting married at all........and some of these women are praying every night for their future husbands.  Even if you do think (aka "god has told you") that you will be getting married at some point down the pike, does this fact characterize your life in the present moment?  And is this same 'god' who's told you that you'll be getting married also condoning this absorbtion with your future?  My understanding of a healthy spirituality, or way of being really, is an ability focus on the present moment.  

And it seems to me that any woman who's praying every night for a future husband she's never seen has made marriage all important--and this gets back to the marriage-is-a-deity idea.

There is nothing that I can find in scripture that places marriage above another way or life, or (unless, I think, if you're Morman) says that marriage is a fundamental characteristic of life lived virtuously.

Not at all.  To live a life in a Christians manner (as least from a Catholic perspective) has a lot to do with practicing the spiritual and corporeal works of mercy; and this is a very outward, other-focused orientation.  Jesus in facts commands his disciples (not a suggestion, a command) "to give them something to eat yourselves" (Mark 6:37) when the crowds had nothing to eat.   

Which is why, yeah, like I said, these Christian women obsessed with marriage aren't communing with God at all.  Or I seriously doubt that they are.  At its core, this obsession with singlism, and therefore also with marriage, is narcissim and self-worship.  

And, then, going back to this idea that Christian communities have deified marriage above other ways of life, it becomes (truly in some sense--and trust me I've seen this, could cite a few examples) impossible to be a part of these communities and maintain any respectability as a single person.  And so it becomes impossible to live this Chrisitan life that Christians are called to within a 'Christian' community.

or that's my take anyway.  and fortunately there's a whole world out there that has nothing to do with being married or single or church! 

wow, I'm really ranting today.  making up for last week.


So accordoing to Vanity Fair I'm living under a rock since I saw this video for the fist time this week.  I like it!  And I don't even really care about its controversial nature, of fully dressed men and practically naked women.  It's a cool song and Robin Thicke is cute, cute cute.  in his suit. and his sunglasses.

k, so on that note, singing off!!

post-script >>> I guess the uncensored version is just plain old-fashioned porn.

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