So, I’ll start this week off with a recent PNCMN Letter to the editor: When Religious Discrimination Hits Home:
by Dr. Todd Berntson
The past 24 hours have been almost surreal. I was sitting at the dinner table with some friends at an Indian restaurant when I received a call from my father that my cousin Brad was dead. Brad was four years older than me and had been my superhero while I was growing up.
As a kid I used to tell my friends incredible tales about the amazing feats that my cousin could do, as though he was some mythical figure with superhuman powers. Truth be told, in a lot of ways he kind of lived up to that. He was very good looking, smart, funny, incredibly strong, and was one of those guys that everybody liked. So, when I was told that Brad was dead, I was in shock. Unfortunately, that was only the beginning of the bad news.
I’m sure even from this excerpt, you can probably see where this is going, but don’t take my word for it.
So… What else did I read this week?
St.Patrick was much more likely to be a slave trader rather than a slave says a new research survey by a Cambridge University professor. He was also a tax collector, fleeing for his life as the Roman Empire collapsed in Britain.
Dr Roy Flechner, research fellow at Cambridge University’s Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic (ASNC), said the accepted story of St Patrick was “likely to be fiction”, according a report in the Irish Independent.
Alcoholic beverages have come in many forms over the years, and gone by almost as many names. “Social lubricant,” “liquid courage,” “mother of bad-decisions”… the list goes on and on. Many of these names stem from alcohol’s most noteworthy quality: it’ll get you drunk.
But alcohol — and ethanol, in particular — has many interesting effects and applications that extend well beyond the walls of your local bar or restaurant. Here are ten things alcohol excels at that don’t involve getting you properly sloshed.
Sannion has posted a review of a Totes Recon beer:
This stuff is the shit. That’s what the children are saying today, right? Right?
This has nothing to do with anything else posted here, but it was amusing and I thought I’d share with people who aren’t my FarceBorg friends:
I don’t know about you, but I like my Sundays slow and quiet. The bustle of another busy week leaves me in need of replenishment, and lazy Sundays are just the ticket for recharging before tackling another seven days of business challenges. A day on the sofa with our dogs suits me just fine, and winter weekends in Vermont are all about the art of hibernation. We do it well.
Much to my dismay, on this Sunday, a large, annoying feline had different plans for me. I knew the day was destined for mediocrity when I was jarred from a restful slumber by my wife’s screams. “NEIL, WAKE UP NOW – THE POLICE ARE HERE AND THEY WANT TO SPEAK WITH YOU!!”
(looks at date-stamp on previous link) OK, yeah, should have gone in another section, but it’s my blog and I can break my own rules, if I want to.
Oh, and just in case you didn’t know, GWAR and their crew are a demi-Socialist collective. No, serious, it’s there in the article.
And speaking of being parted temporarily from one’s beloved (this will make sense if you watch the film), here are a couple of great blog pieces on Fallow Times:
Fallow Isn’t Just About Fields and Dreams:
All in all, my definition of the Fallow Times is taken right out of the dictionary. The definition I chose for this was “not in use; inactive.” (And just because I like to inform others, fallow is also a color.) The concept is similar to the concept of shifting cultivation in which a farmer uses a plot of land for a while (it looks to be a two to three years, maybe) before moving on to another section of land to start farming that. And even though the farmers leave that land for a bit (or in this case, the OTHERS™), they do eventually come back.
This is something everyone on a spiritual path will encounter – some more often than others perhaps – even those of us who have built strong and long-term relationships and are deeply engaged with our practice. But it can be so hard to talk about – there is doubt, and shame, and reluctance to even face it at all. But facing it is exactly what will eventually bring you closer to Them – working through the roughest times will teach you more than all the pretty festive days and cool magic you do.
I’d also like to add something to her list of possible reasons one might enter Fallow Times:
Also, while I’m generally ambivalent about a woman’s choice to veil as a religious act, no matter what her religion —and indeed, some of the head-coverings I’ve seen on ostensibly Muslim women (an assumption I made based on the style of their scarves) have been very pretty— I can’t help but wonder if anybody else noticed what I noticed in Ms Foster’s Patheos post on the subject:
Most of the women said they weren’t comfortable wearing the hijab, mainly because it tends to label them as part of a religion other than their own. The Jewish tichel was a popular choice.
Did you see that?
Clearly, identifying oneself with a religion other than one’s own is totally fine, as long as that religion isn’t Islam.
What Would The Artist Formerly Known As Cat Stevens Say?
Ah yeah…. Never mind what he’s say.
I don’t know, maybe it’s just me who sees this, but while I can understand wanting to do something different as a cultural identifier (one of the reasons I don’t protest too loudly over Jewish circumcision, I just personally think it would be more meaningful if the boy had a choice in the matter), I think it’s rather dubious to eschew one other’s cultural identifier for another other’s cultural identifier when one is otherwise clearly a part of neither culture.
I’m not telling any-one that they’re necessarily wrong, I’m just saying that I find the juxtaposition of the popular reason against one style of scarf with the popular choice of another style of scarf to be highly illogical and possibly symptomatic of a certain common prejudice, all things considered —but then, I can’t really see any intersection between those two answers on the Venn, because Ms Foster doesn’t create articles as in-depth as she thinks she does.
Oh, and speaking of headscarves, did you know it’s Wear A Hijab Month? Neither did I.
Also, like Orthodox and otherwise traditional Jewish women, apparently traditional/orthodox Hindu women also veil, apparently in the form of a sheer portion of the sari pulled completely over the face. One article I’ve found on Hindu ghoonghat claims that this practise is originally foreign to Hindu women, and was created under the first majpr wave of Islamic rule.
Just in case you were curious:
As always, I update my Etsy store on Tuesdays; here, take a look! (And please buy some of my top-quality crap!)
Shit you’ve probably read already:
* Now That You’re Big, a beautiful Dr. Seuss parody
Your New Word For the Week:
Bearcat – a hot-blooded or fiery girl (1920s slang)