Apparently we need one.
Almost a century ago, Theodore Dreiser turned the much-publicized details of Chester Gillette’s trial for the murder of his pregnant girlfriend into the novel An American Tragedy. The book has outlasted public memory of the original crime, less for the felicity of its prose style than for the sweep of its only-in-America themes: A bright and ambitious young man from a deeply religious background is determined to find the fame and prosperity to which he feels he is, as an American, entitled; but his efforts to network into the larger secular world lead him pinballing from farce to disaster, until his various failures of self-control lead to his conviction for murder.
They say “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce”. John linked to Digby and Glenn Greenwald discussing the Wingnut Wurlitzer’s hysterical reaction to the “Haitian Ten” American missionaries arrested for trying to remove a busload of very young not-exactly-orphans across the border to the Dominican Republic without the proper paperwork… or, it would seem, any very clear idea of what they’d do afterwards. I agree that the larger political concerns of our mutual blogospheric peanut gallery deserve debate, but it’s the personal details behind the would-be saviors of the “New Life Children’s Refuge” that fascinate me. The Idaho Stateman reports that Laura Silsby “grew up in a devoutly religious family. Her father, John Sander, was a minister in the Wesleyan Holiness Church….The lifestyle of church members is strict and old-fashioned, Hecker said: no TV, no dancing and no alcohol. Women are expected to wear dresses but not jewelry or makeup; they don’t cut their hair. “It’s about humility and modesty,” Hecker explained…. Though young women in the church weren’t encouraged to go to college or work outside their homes, Silsby knew as a child that she wanted to get an education and have her own career. “She had ideas about business early on,” Hecker said, describing her as something of a maverick.”
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Just a reminder that the Balloon Juice store (all proceeds go to animal rescue) is now open:
You can use that link, or you can use the permanent one to the right.
Also, in our excitement to unveil the store last night, we forgot to also thank commenters SGEW and Bartkid’s help with the graphics. Sorry guys! And thanks!
A lot of complaints today about things being too heavy. So here’s an open thread.
A heavy song about weightlessness:
A light song about heaviness:
According to Chinese astrology, we are starting the Year of the Tiger, about which my very old Book of Chinese Chance paperback says:
“Tiger years are notoriously turbulent. Political unrest, coup d’etats, and catastrophes often strike during these action-packed years.
Prudence is advised in all new undertakings… The Tiger, though noble and honorable, endows his year with uncertainty and danger. Tigers never know where they might place their next paw. In Tiger years it is incumbent upon the rest of us to face head-on collisions with our own enemies. When we least expect that calamity, it surges out of nowhere. Much strength is required of us during these testy times.”
2010 is a Metal year, so this is the year of the Golden Tiger or the White Tiger, depending on which source you believe, but the white tiger is considered a bit of a jinx for reasons I haven’t been able to track.
However, every new year is the chance for a new start, and in that spirit I share my favorite of this year’s Chinese New Year Songs, because it embodies the ancient universal traditions of every extended family celebration… namely, bribing the kids to sit down and shut up until their elders can get sufficiently lubricated to stand being around each other. And then hoping the ensuing Carb Coma will keep actual fistfights from breaking out. Kampai!
I know, an odd open thread, but it does fit the “c” rule (Laura W. can explain). At any rate, I bought the best smelling candle ever: Fresh Expressions Lavender. Smells so damned good.
And I am fully aware that this is going to spawn fifty comments questioning my masculinity, but I don’t care. They smell too good not to share.
Not to mention, I don’t want you to forget that there is a large, smelly, grumpy animal going to the bathroom in my house. Also, I have a cat.
The last thread is getting too long to load, and my google-fu is not strong enough to retrieve a useable clip of the Olympic opening ceremonies. (Although if anyone wants to point me in the right direction — my email is at the top right of this page.) So you get the all-purpose feel-good post featuring…
Here’s for some good news this weekend…