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what keeps me awake

I thought I could just comment on what has been happening to this country, specifically the latest, hottest, “meme” that is going on and making the news circuit and the blogoshpere and the twitterverse, by reminding all of us, once again, the Golden Rule. Yes, indeed, I am referring to the clever, seemingly harmless and indeed “How Christian of you”, appearances of bumper stickers that say:

“Pray for Obama: Psalm 109:8”

By now I assume most of you know what the hack I am talking about. If you are one of the fortunate ones that have been shielded from such ugliness, here is the article, “Biblical anti-Obama slogan: Use of Psalm 109:8 funny or sinister?” on none other than The Christian Science Monitor. I am also repeating the by-now-old-news-because-our-generation-suffers-from-ADD details here for my children, so they will know, when they look back one day, how FAR indeed we/they have come. Please, let it be overcome by then…

Why the debate on whether quoting Psalm is sinister? Because this is from the Old Testament, whose god is a vengeful god. Because the exact verse in Psalm 109:8 is

“Let his days be few; and let another take his office.”

Not so bad? One clearly has the right to wish Obama out of the White House as soon as possible, as argued by many, citing Freedom of Speech. Read on because Psalm 109:9, which comes after Psalm 109:8, says

“Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.”

Because, Psalm 109 is Vengeance Invoked upon Adversaries. Remember, Vengeful god.

Naturally some of the folks that gladly applied the bumper stickers, tweeted this verse, emailed it to friends and families, or even wore the t-shirts (Are you surprised that there were t-shirts made and sold already?) now claim ignorance. They did not know what comes after Psalm 109:8

And you have got to believe them. Old Testament aka the Hebrew Bible. Is it a surprise that not many Christians have read it?

More importantly, selfishly, I want to believe the claim for ignorance. I need to. Otherwise it would be extremely difficult to continue to believe in the general goodness of mankind. I don’t want to be convinced by Frank Shaeffer’s argument on TRMS that this is “trolling for assassins”, “calling for holy war”. That many are just eagerly awaiting Obama to fall into the same fate as that of Kennedy, McKinley, Garfield, and Lincoln. That it really “just takes one”.

I never liked Bush yet I had never prayed for his untimely death. Nor have I Cheney. Nor Glenn Beck. The list goes on…

I don’t even want to go down the road of pondering why Obama, in himself, incites so much fear and anger. I understand, with sorrow, that not all Americans were heart-broken when John Kennedy was assassinated. One could safely made the assumptions that the malignance (invidiousness? which negative emotion best described the frenzy?) bestowed on Obama has reached an unforeseen level of intensity.

This whole incident illustrated the dangers of quoting anything out of context and not checking the sources/references before propagating it. Another example, the ironic “Teabaggers wearing the Obamao t-shirt from China“, immediately comes to mind. Though the danger of you being mocked for not getting something is significantly reduced if you have taken care to be surrounded only by like-minded people…

It also goes to prove that Richard Dawkins (yes, THE IT atheist) is correct in advocating the mandatory studying of the bible, albeit as LITERATURE,

“The Bible as literature should be a compulsory part of the national curriculum… you can’t understand English literature and culture without it.”*

I would also like to suggest a new rule for consideration in conjunction with the suggestion above:

One shall not quote the Bible, or Shakespeare for that matter while we are on this subject, without actually reading the entire passage first.

* This is the reason why the first book of literature we were made to read in the department of Western literature was The Old Testament. Read it and weep. For so many reasons…

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Rockwell Golden Rule

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You have got to read this:

Blogging for Dummies by Aunt Becky (she’s actually young and hot) over at Mommy Wants Vodka.  As someone who has experimented with making my own bacon-flavored vodka, she had me at the name of her blog…

When I stumbled upon her genuine, honest, tell-it-like-it-is advice about blogging and perhaps more importantly, keeping your sanity while blogging, I was in awe.  She has such a Zen attitude towards this whole life blogging adventure, arguably one of the most daring things each one of us, for one reason or another, has decided to embark on by baring our souls, putting ourselves out there.  The agony first about who will be reading this thing that you meant for yourself, and soon turning into how come nobody is reading it…

To see the entire list, please do the bunny hop over to her post.  The following are the ones that really struck a cord and have been keeping me thinking since last night:

“Blogging for Dummies” – selected gems from Aunt Becky’s MOST USEFUL BLOGGING ADVICE, HANDS DOWN, EVA.

  • No one will read you for a couple months. It’s okay. Soldier on.
  • If you want people to read you, read other blogs.
  • If you want more comments then comment until your fingers bleed.

And finally, this advice that made me forever in her debt since it reminded me that I am an adult and thus saved me from reliving schoolyard clique nightmares…

  • There will be bloggers who will NEVER visit your blog no matter how many amazing and witty comments you leave. Period. Move on if it hurts your feelings.

There are a lot more on her post.  Do check it out.  I have a feeling that the list may give you the peace of mind you don’t even know you are searching for…

p.s. Wondering whether she has considered making a poster out of this?  I need one on my wall for late night musings.

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How much is the Pulitzer Prize worth?

November 2, 2009 Making sure you know I read the Economist so you know I'm not dumb, just obnoxious

Tweet I was surprised to learn that the Pulitzer Prize is only worth $10,000. I guess you really need to be in this field for the love of the game. Now with the doom and gloom not just predicted but realized in numbers for print journalism, and the difficulty in turning online content into actual […]

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“How you should behave when you grow up”: a primer for your kids

November 1, 2009 no manual for parenting

Tweet My 6 year-old, at the end of sugar high, launched into a campaign for something that he thinks my husband and I should offer to him and his older brother. “A program.  A program for ‘How you should be like when you grow up‘,” he said. “Mom.  I think you and daddy should give […]

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“What are you?” OMG, a form I could fill out wihout having to choose!

October 11, 2009 imho is just a polite way to say I know you don't give a hoot what I think but I'm going to say it anyway

Tweet My children are, in the common lingo, “mixed”.  Or, if they want to be hip when they grow up and get into identity politics, they can call themselves Hapa, or, indeed, whatever the hack they want.  If they want to call themselves a mutt, the way Prez. Obama did, fine with me too. But […]

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Sorry mommy can’t come to the school, but don’t grow up and murder people ok?

October 9, 2009 random

Tweet I was reading the article about the so-called Craigslist Killer, Philip Markoff, in Vanity Fair, and like almost everybody, I wanted to find out, perchance through this detailed article, WHY?! Stories like this, a bright young man from a well-to-do family with a seemingly normal upbringing make people especially anxious.  If you cannot explain […]

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“They’re Made Out of Meat” by Terry Bisson – One of the best short stories found on the Interweb

September 7, 2009 random

Tweet Here is how the story begins… “They’re made out of meat.” “Meat?” “Meat. They’re made out of meat.” “Meat?” “There’s no doubt about it. We picked up several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, and probed them all the way through. They’re completely meat.” … … … Please […]

Maybe, just maybe, The People of Walmart has something to teach us?

August 30, 2009 a picture is worth a thousand words

Tweet Scene 1: There is this new website, People of Walmart, that’s gaining the buzz.  (Heck, even The Bloggess mentioned them as “shit-I-didn’t-write-but-wish-I-did-because-it’s-kind-of-awesome” for this week…) (Note: Time.com also wrote about it on August 31, 2009, the day after this post was originally published.) Here is one of the most excellent specimen, in all its […]

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