January 2011

I Need A Man!

And I don’t care about the way you look
You should know I’m not that impressed
‘Cause there’s just one thing that I’m looking for
And he don’t wear a dress
I need a man!

Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics

I’m looking for a few good men. Please apply. I’ve decided to open up a screening service for all my female friends who are looking for a man. Years ago, I thought I might pursue a second career as a “Wonder Bra” consultant. A service job. I felt as capable as any applicant but was disqualified when, during the interview, I laughingly questioned the ethics of promising more than you can deliver, you know, “truth in advertising.” No such humor in the fitting room I was told. This was serious business.

As is finding appropriate men for exceptional women. Which is the only “type” I know. I’m singularly unimpressed with the male sex. I greatly respect our aggressive, can-do, gitter’done, creative, build-it-now qualities but, my gawd, men can be so booooooring. We seem to love one thing above all else, the sound of our own voice waxing authoritatively (idiotic?). Can you hear me NOW! Men are such pathetic one-note creatures. Let me hum a few notes, “Me! Me! Me! Me! Me!” Poor Johnny One-Note!

Yet, women continue to want us. Go figure. Smart, accomplished, self-confident women.

Okay, here goes. I have to start with the most important quality. Intelligence. There simply is no substitute for intelligence. If that value is lacking or insufficient, well, long term, you (a woman) will be disappointed. Men, you must be intellectually curious.

So many other attributes spin-off the raw horsepower issue. No doubt other qualities, such as kindness and generosity are critically important. But boredom dooms as many relationships as being a jerk or selfishness.

Empathy. Being able to imagine, internalize and feel what another human being is experiencing is a key attribute. Whether or not you “course correct” based on that is another issue. Some situations require a detached, analytical response but being aware of (and acknowledging) why the other person might feel as she does is key. LISTEN!

Looks are so subjective that they are irrelevant to me. Besides, you cannot judge a book by its cover. Don’t you just love a platitude? No fatties, however, need apply. No cigarette smokers either. Athleticism preferred.

No Mama’s Boys, no whiners (I HATE whiners), no belittlers, no nit-pickers, no ultimatum-makers, no slackers need apply. Self-confidence backed-up with success is key. KEY!

Be able to take care of yourself financially. The women I know carry their own weight in this regard. Divorced is okay. Mistakes (lapses in judgment) happen.

Humor is critical. No “taking yourself” too seriously. Must be reflective. A fiscally conservative, socially liberal Republican is perfectly acceptable. A secular humanist, deist, agnostic or atheist is suitable. Must read fiction for enjoyment.

Sex. That four-letter word! The women I know don’t necessarily want to be “cruise directors” but any man should be capable of, uh, “playground” course corrections. Creative generosity in bed is a given. “Reciprocity is the lubricant of life.”

I’ve an accomplished, financially secure woman in her forties looking for the above. Seriously. All age-appropriate candidates shoot me your vita at my e-mail address. Pass muster and I’ll pass it on.

When Gods Don’t Punish.

Who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister. Alabama Governor Robert Bentley

Hmmm? What to make of Alabama Governor Bentley’s recent Martin Luther King Day remarks? He spoke at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church; King had spoken there on occasion. He praised the civil rights leader and then before the largely black congregation announced, “Anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister.”

Really? This ability of Christians to publicly renounce their love and acceptance of their fellow man, while at the same time professing outrage that their Christianity could ever be questioned belies F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous quote, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” Either a Christian acts Christian-like or their ability to function is, in and of itself, profound hypocrisy. No first-rate intelligence is at work in Alabama.

Maybe it’s, to paraphrase Donnie and Marie Osmond, “I’m a little bit Christian and a little bit, well, I’m a little bit something else entirely.”

Why the need to separate and castigate? Where does that come from? Since all religion is a human construct, we must assume there is some inherent, fundamental human need to separate ourselves into “we” and “them.” You know, “THEM.” The different, the outcast, hoi polloi, the unwashed, unsaved and for sure, the unchosen. Such ludicrous idiocy would be outrageously funny but for how often such intolerance has been sufficient justification for this inquisition or that pogrom or, when reviewing the specific history of The Southern Baptist Church, splitting with northern Baptists over southern support of slavery.

Blessedly, we live in a secular society. How does it serve humanity, our nation to have drilled into the heads of its citizens, from professed “Christian” pulpits no less, that some of us are worth associating, yet many are not? Simply, because their faith is different from your own. Not only that, but those who refuse to believe as me are damned. Eternally. Quite candidly, such beliefs are profoundly unhealthy, not only for the individual but for America.

At the very least, let’s bring back the old Christian practice of homo naturaliter Christianus, the naturally Christian man. Early Catholics were perplexed over how to accept such classic Greeks as Plato and Socrates, men who had not been exposed to the grace of biblical revelation yet had led moral lives. How to square that circle led to homo naturaliter Christianus, which is why we have some Classic Greek texts intact. But that is grist for another essay.

My sister had a running bet with her husband over the relative importance of religion when constructing and implementing an ordered and moral society. While leaving Japan one time (after months living in that nation), she laughingly turned to her husband and said, “I win the bet. Japan is a civilization that works really well. The people behave responsibly without resorting to the fear of heaven and hell. No punishing God required for them to act with accountability.”

Shall we accord our fellow Americans the same intellectual respect?


When Jupiter Aligns With Mars.

My goodness! What if this had happened during the Reagan presidency? What if Jupiter wasn’t aligned with Mars? What if President Nancy hadn’t been running the nation off astrological charts? What if Reagan had ever offered a balanced federal budget or anything but voodoo economics? My gawd, what if Pluto transits your birthchart and you actually consider voting GOP?

In case you just fell off the turnip truck (think: Tea Party followers) there’s been an uproar over how Republicans select their candidates, determine government policy or decide which Congressional Democrat seats to be placed in gun crosshairs, ur, excuse me, a surveyor’s map crosshairs. Yea Baby! Yes, the astrological world has been turned upside down with the news that the heavens have been out of alignment. Oh, my. Now we know precisely why Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin could actually see Russia from her front porch!

This is serious business, kids. It is. It turns out that since the Reagan administration, Republicans have been making governmental decisions based on the wrong astrological charts. HORRORS! It, like totally, explains the Iran-Contra fiasco, Bush 41’s “No New Taxes” faux pas, Bush 43’s disastrous and immoral invasion of Iraq, Republican budget busting deficits and their devastating voodoo economic policies, well, the list just goes on and on.

Newly elected National Republican Party Chief Rince Priapus was quick to take up the challenge. “We’ve been operating totally blind for over 30 years,” observed Priapus, “we’ve waged ill-conceived, horrific wars, implemented disastrous, middle-class obliterating economic policies but with these new astrological charts and our fractious fun Party of “NO” attitude, we’ll soon develop picture-perfect platitudes, illusions and obfuscations to totally regain political power from that illegitimate, non-American Obama!”

Former Republican Party Chairman and noted Mississippi cracker Haley Barbour was fast to employ “the stars were incorrectly aligned” justification to explain his recent foot-in-mouth gaff. Yes, Governor Barbour was reminiscing about growing-up in Yazoo City, waxing melancholy on those wonderfully bucolic days of yore when the cotton was high and the livin’ was easy. . . for white folk. Barbour said of the 1960s civil rights struggle, “I just don’t remember it as being that bad.” That bad!?! Is that a stitch or what? Barbour offered his illuminating perspective with all the insight and wisdom of a privileged son of the ruling class.

But fortunately for Barbour’s Republican presidential ambitions he can now attribute his, uh, flawed caricature of a once pastoral South of generous whites and grateful blacks to those “misplaced” stars and ill aligned “heavens.”

Republican Party Chair Priapus said of the newly added astrological sign, “We Republicans have used deceit, smoke & mirrors, bait & switch, pseudo-science and daffy religious beliefs for so long to run America that it will be such a relief to once again develop special interest national policy with the certainty of a scientifically verifiable zodiac. It’s like creationism! Just think what Nancy Reagan might have accomplished during her administration if Jupiter had been properly aligned with Mars? Would ketchup ever have been designated a vegetable?”

The new sign, Ophiuchus, is symbolic of the newly energized Tea-Party groundswell within the Republican Party. Appropriately enough it is of a snake conveniently located deep inside the juncture of Orion’s Belt and Uranus. Indeed.

On Refreshing The Tree of Liberty.

From where I write offers an expansive view of my backyard. This past Monday morning the squirrels ran themselves giddy as a prelude to mating. My cat watched patiently and my hens were indifferent. Life goes on.

Six slaughtered people are eulogized. We’re horrified, or so we say. But are we? Really? Is anyone surprised about the events in Tucson? What is surprising or novel or new about yet another deranged gunman attempting an execution? In this instance, an American Congresswoman? The “collateral damage” included a sparkling child and a federal judge. Nothing particularly novel in killing a politician. We Americans do that with some regularity. Life goes on.

Movie director Michael Moore made a cogent observation that if a Muslim group had put out on the internet (like Sarah Palin did) various liberal congressional districts marked in the crosshairs (of a gun?) and a Congresswoman was subsequently attacked all hell would break loose. Palin’s spokeswoman said on January 9th that they weren’t gun crosshairs but map crosshairs. Map crosshairs!?! The backsliding resumes anew. The website has been taken down. And life goes on.

Sharron Angle, the Nevada Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate was caught on tape encouraging her disaffected constituents to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights if necessary. Do you imagine that was to join the National Guard? It is radio personality and rightwing hero, Glenn Beck who regularly cites Thomas Jefferson’s famous quote, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Where would Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords fall in Beck’s value system? Patriot or tyrant? It’ll be good for ratings nonetheless. And life goes on.

Accused murderer Jared L. Loughner attempted to enter the U.S. military but was screened out. He was turned down for active service. The reason? He had “issues.” Jared L. Loughner subsequently purchased a handgun in Arizona, a state where no background checks are required, no state permits either. Imagine that. The U.S. military where guns are the norm says no thank you to Jared L. Loughner because he has issues but the state of Arizona requires nothing when “a man with issues” purchases a handgun. And six die. Life goes on.

My sister Sandra has observed on numerous occasions, “We’re nasty little monkeys.” And in the name of freedom we’ll place nominal obstacles (in Arizona even less than nominal) for nasty little monkeys (that’s us, folks) to own weapons, in this instance, of mass destruction. The ridiculous aspect of the whole debate regarding guns and the freedom to own them is there are, by some estimates, nearly 300 million weapons already in circulation in America. Close the gate? What gate? Whether or not Jared L. Loughner could have been identified as an individual with “issues” and denied the opportunity to purchase a handgun, he could have simply walked into virtually any sporting goods store in America and have purchased a pump shotgun. Saw off the barrel, load-up and refresh the tree of liberty. And life goes on.

We’ll mourn the dead. For a while. But life goes on. Speaking of giddy squirrels, as U.S. House Speaker Boehner so succinctly puts it, we’ve healthcare to kill. Indeed.

And life goes on.