Tuesday, September 09, 2014


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 I read there God in His jealousy had withdrawn her worship.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.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Hobby Lobby

Praise to Civil Liberties News, publication of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota. I am scheduled to volunteer at the ACLU-MN booth at the Minnesota State Fair this year and am looking forward to it. Nevertheless, I feel out of the loop re: Hobby Lobby, a craft store chain. I read in an interfaith newsletter that Hobby Lobby had fired a woman worker who had requested unpaid leave when she was four months pregnant. That case was described by the interfaith newsletter as Hobby Lobby's religious hypocrisy. In general, I have had the question: Are employers required to pay for the birth of newborns? Birth is much more expensive than any form of birth control. In my days as a low-paid employee, $5/hour when minimum was about $3.50 and $18K/year, one job offer I received in the publishing industry in New York, two single-owner business employers informed me that their insurance premiums were $2K per year higher if they employed fertile women than premiums they paid for men. I wish the debated subject could focus on condoms, in frankness. Condoms are instantly reversible as birth control; they prevent the potential spread of sexually-transmissible infections; and they are mutually consensual. Users of condoms are aware that no conception has taken place. In human rights, a man and a woman may marry and bring forth a family. It is a civil right in the U.S. but not a human right (as far as I know) to raise a child singly without the knowledge of the other parent, the father in natural circumstances or either parent in clinical circumstances. I see Ruth Bader Ginsburg's photo floating the Internet. One wonders if she is actually agreeing to be represented in venues such as Salon or if her photo is merely in use as a symbol of "women's right to choose." Women's right to choose is rather bogus. Choice, as I think of it, has turned out to be suitable as the brand name of a dog food. Women disallowed to have children may be more like pets. Roe v. Wade means that the doctor decides and it seems unrelated to abortion's legality; it has been a form of gag order for women, who it is presumed have zero interest in bringing forth children. To me, belonging is a better basis for understanding how a natural family comes about: Two people meet and feel belonging, and a child takes place. Under the Affordable Care Act, must companies finance child birth, that is very expensive and may involve surgery and hospital stays? Is contraception merely a cheap way out of comprehensive reproductive health care? Is it truly the case that women are disinterested in becoming mothers? Is it truly the case that employers welcome women employees' opportunity to have children? Should the costs of child birth only be attached to the mother's health insurance policy with her employer? Please submit your ideas.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Job Needed

Hi, Carolyn Holbrook. I guess you just poked me. Thanks. Sorry for being so lame. There is no excuse for it. I limp because it's comfortable to limp. My ex-cat, Francis, started to limp one day. I brought him in. He liked Doctor Jim, notable since as a smart man cat, he avoided men, except two, not other people's favorites, and dogs. At the vet, Fran leaped from the table without sign of a limp. Dr. Jim said that if Fran was still limping by Friday, he'd test him for diabetes. I told that to Franny at home, who had returned to limping in the hall, apparently for effect. Then, following a separate warning, since he wouldn't let me brush him fully, Fran removed the mat he had let form near his anus and deposited it at the door of my and my dad's former office. It might have made me look bad at the vet that he had grown, that I had let him grow what I had termed rasta balls. I saved the mat after Fran expertly removed it with his teeth, that my sister, visiting, verified was gross to hear described when I showed it to her. In the end, Franny lasted outside each day almost sixteen years without bodily injury. He hunted. He left the house in the morning in Minnetonka as if he were a fire fighter and returned at noon to eat cat food, even after slaying and eating half a junior rabbit. He never gave up cat food or his dish of water in the kitchen. Lizards in Texas, beheadings, bitter tasting, probably, so he didn't swallow them. He walked -- then and then -- the edge of the property as if he had read the deed. He was a Himalayan/tabby mix from upstate New York, gray long hair. Here is the point of my correspondence: I have enjoyed three paid teaching days in Minnesota, since my return in 1996. All three paid days were fielded through S.A.S.E., all three at Patrick Henry. I loved it there. I hope never to become certified to teach. I'd go in again, especially to Saturday morning detention. The kids were so responsive to my creative writing lesson that morning. Did the proctor tell you, as she told me, the kids had never liked a lesson as much as they had liked that lesson. Please get me a job! Is there a way? I'd hoped to be in St. Paul tonight for Mankwe's performance. Stan Kusunoki invited me. I lost time today, so I feel welfare-lost in outer space again. It's $1.33/hour for a 24-hour day that covers medical co-pays and insurance only. The last therapist, a nice one at JFCS, said I'd be unable to hold a job. I have signed up for a job fitness test in Minneapolis in August. Minnesota Workforce Center offers the test but has been otherwise uncivil. -- If you go this evening, please give everyone my regards. ~AMB