Sunday, October 19, 2014

Kipling at Night


Gourds & pumpkins from MN Landscape Arboretum Apple House

Stoop in autumn

Neglected foods in service of beauty

Walk in to white chairs

Fall in the Garden


Purple Turtlehead with bee: Chelone obliqua var. speciosa

Last rose of 2014 in Florence Bogle's Minnetonka garden







Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Not-Atheist

1. A person's own religiosity is not the same as their general membership in any religion. (Opinion)
 
2. My childhood membership in religion is generally grouped as Mainline Liberal Christian Protestant.
 
3. I have experienced atheism as a rather unwelcome visitation that was not foisted on me by atheists, who had never attempted to rid me of belief in God, though I had known atheists. An atheist would have failed at it, had one of them tried. Then the idea of choice would have been inherent. The atheism I underwent I did not choose. It was foisted on me by my exclusion in a spiritually-oriented group I belonged to. It mounted to my feeling not welcome—unprecedented for me—to participate in community prayer and possibly in public worship in any form. My exclusion was very unpleasant while it lasted. I felt forced to wear a helmet of stone. The imaginary helmet weighed like stone and covered that part of my forehead known in Hinduism as my god’s eye. I referred to my ordeal as “involuntary atheism,” and once, my brother expected me to try to describe it. Privately-educated Catholics ignored my having a brother. Syncretic Catholic Linda criticized my trip to see him in California in 2009. I incorrectly thought why. My life and inheritance remain unopposed to theirs. I attributed my discontinued belief to cult damage. I lived as a spiritual exile over more than seven, perhaps ten years. I took refuge in rereading the poetry of two American masters. One, a member Transcendentalist, seemed during my black-out maturity heartbreakingly expired in spirit, though in poetry she has no better. I read there God in His jealousy had withdrawn her worship. Later, I felt restored to my belief pattern of "agnostic.” My restoration did not greet me as a “miracle.” I just felt like myself again. I survived killers’ predictions. One of the would-be killers compares to Job’s Wife in the Bible, as Frank Kermode describes Her line in an essay. Instead of dying—as programmers obedient to Cynthia Macdonald and Catholic Sandy tried to order it, contrary to our link to what may be a common God—I became restored to beliefs that were mine before I met them, aimless, silly programmers. I remembered my sense, without its initial joy, that travel is the wandering Voltaire inscribed. Joy is not a belief, all-y’all father-fuck'ng, no-account no-writes.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Time Magazine's Campus Rape Issue

Time Magazine's May 26, 2014, Vol. 183, No. 20, 2014.
 
I feel tired of throwing that issue of Time across the room. RAPE: The Crisis in Higher Education by Eliza Gray. I have planned since first rejecting Gray's understanding of a system to write a critique of her sense of playtime as she records it in Time. The roundup of opinions called The Debate: How should college campuses handle sexual assault? is worth reading and is fair. Gray's feature article is a religious editorial that I feel required by Foucault to critique.
 
Gray defends the city of Missoula, the campus of the University of Montana, and its young men on campus, except six per cent of them as determined by social screening of their attitudes on campuses elsewhere. Gray's real call-out is of campus victims who equal 20% of campus women.
 
I believe Gray's target victims were softened prior to college attendance, in high school, or before high school. Their armors against War were not smelted by college, and indemnity ensued. She faults women's heavy drinking for the surge in campus crime. She faults a devil who appears on one of his shoulders, who encourages him—is he of the six per cent of intent sex abusers on campus or of the majority who are good at heart?—to have sex with a girl who has passed out. An angel suddenly appears on the man's other shoulder that persuades him to let the drunk girl sleep uninterrupted, perhaps to snore or even to drool a little.
 
In real life, rape occurs to the sober. Rape is the exchanging of a first name on the first rape night out. Rape is a consequence of color. Rape is off-campus. Rape is slightly daft, slightly smart. It is a campus amenity.
 
These days, penetration that is unwelcome, however slight, defines it.
 
Repeat victims are most aware of it. Victims are liberals and were trained early against racism. They duck reporting grievances on campus or off campus in their fear that to report crime is racist, even though they may realize that not to report crime is illegal. Reliable statistics, as staggering in number as they are, including statistics about falsely-reported crime, are on David Duke's website. Eliza Gray's perpetrators are good guys who heeded the devil on their shoulder that single night when the strange, snoring, passed-out, drooling drunk girl spread herself haphazardly lengthwise and became a willing corpse to their or the rare bad guy's one-time necrophiliac sensibilities. That night leads, unfortunately, without exception, to her extinction and curtails her furtherance in life. That is as Eliza Gray would have it in her optimism for college as a wonderful, sexy head start in life. The wicked silence in the victims had better come forward and leak, pronounce itself in time for closing date Time, lest the other eighty per cent of campus women should have to admit to knowing them. Victims, according to Gray, are not activists but are uncooperative girls earmarked for sacrifice who live in dishonest hiding.