Category Archives: Modern life-as-we-know-it

Somewhere, someone has to put her foot down.

peepsproductEspecially after Mike the Heathen sent along a story about Peeps-flavored milk.

I mean, c’mon, ‘Murica.

One day, historians will trace the moment the country began its slide down the greased pole to hell, and they will arrive at the year these nasty things left the boundaries of Easter to crap up grocery shelves during other perfectly good holidays. First, they took Halloween, and then they bounced over to the dairy aisle.

Stop. The. Madness.

So Mike the Heathen wrote a blog…

index…but I promise I’m outing him with his permission. It’s quite good. Read it here, more on the spirituality of Leonard Nimoy.

Happy women’s history month, or…

51zPISY-dKL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_…as it says in this piece on Daily Kos, happy shift from black (Black History Month) to white (White Women’s History Month).

It pains me to type that, being mostly-white, myself. When I speak about Isabella Beecher Hooker, I talk about the women who’ve been pushed off the historical page for no reason other than they are women. Or poor. Or they were women of color and thus invisible to the larger world. The notion that the feminist movement focuses too much on the needs and desires of white women perched on a particular economic rung has dogged the movement from its beginning. Economically comfortable women like, well, Isabella, were concerned with the right to vote, while some of their poorer sisters — of all races and ethnicities — were concerned with the right to make a living, to feed their families, to leave marriages if need be. Read this letter, from a Mrs. S.H. Graves. In 1871, Mrs. Graves, the second wife of a Connecticut farmer, wrote in despair to Isabella:

I have no money and but few clothes. He forbids my ever giving anything away, so everything is his and nothing mine. In short I am nothing but a housekeeper, doing all the work of the family. I have no fondness for this kind of life, but on the contrary have as keen a relish for amusements…as any woman in the city of Hartford.

I don’t necessarily have the answer, other than to open the aperture on our cameras a bit, and encourage scholarship that explores the lives of people who were on the ground at the time, the livers and doers and not just the movers and shakers.

Seattle’s approach to economic inequality

6a00d83454714d69e2017c33e2b2e8970b-800wiMy Sunday Times contained this, a story about how the city of Seattle has started pricing transit fares based on riders’ income.

The move is part of Seattle Mayor Ed Murray‘s approach to inequality in general. From his first state-of-the-city address, given in February:

“We stand at a crossroads. We can follow the example of other cities and become unaffordable for all but those at the very top of the income scale, and witness increasing polarization between the very rich and very poor, or we as elected leaders can take deliberate action to address the declining of the middle class.”

The theology of Mr. Spock

leonardnimoy_vulcansalute_1200_article_story_largeWe lost Leonard Nimoy last week, the multi-talented actor who is best known for his portrayal of the Vulcan-Human Mr. Spock, on the short-but-long-lived television series “Star Trek.” The cool and logical became the patron saint of nerdy teenagers everywhere (including this guy, who wrote a tribute to the actor that started, “Long before being nerdy was cool…

Nimoy, who grew up speaking Yiddish, brought a piece of an Orthdox blessing to the universe at large with his signature sign-off, “Life long and prosper” with the accompanying hand gesture, which is the shape, according to a 2013 interview with Nimoy, of the Hebrew letter shin. From the Washington Post:

The Hebrew letter shin, he noted, is the first letter in several Hebrew words, including Shaddai (a name for God), Shalom (the word for hello, goodbye and peace) and Shekhinah, which he defined as “the feminine aspect of God who supposedly was created to live among humans.”

This weekend, NASA astronaut Terry Virts saluted back. And — fittingly — here are Nimoy’s final public words, in the form of a tweet:

A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP

(That’s “Life Long and Prosper.”) RIP to a fascinating person who created an indelible character.)

We take a moment to say “Atta-way, FCC,” but mostly: Thank you, John Oliver.

For a government entity that gets more bad press than good, it’s time to take a moment to congratulate the commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission on their Thursday vote for net neutrality. The vote was close (3-2), but it did pass. Now if we all can just keep an eye on things so that the powerful lobbies organized against this don’t ever hold sway.

For that vote that came after massive public comment that even crashed the FCC’s website, we can mostly thank John Oliver and his efforts to alert the complacent (see above).

Not sure what all this means? Watch this:

But mostly? Thank you, John Oliver, who got the actual conversation going. Bless you, Bro. John. Glory!

Hartford Foundation for Public Giving wants your giving story

original_448471_N0r8yR0yMhEVitF_wXfrBPGaeHFPG and WNPR are teaming up to collect stories about giving and receiving. You can sign up to tell your story starting later this month at one of 15 locations around the Hartford area.

Go here for more information.

(Listen, I’m a sucker for stories and I think this is just the coolest idea ever.)